(Choose a book & chapter, then click on the title to play)
The story of the king's falling in love with a handmaiden and buying her.
How it became manifest to the king that the physicians were unable to cure the handmaiden, and how he turned his face towards God and dreamed of a holy man.
Beseeching the Lord, who is our Helper, to help us to observe self-control in all circumstances, and explaining the harmful and pernicious consequences of indiscipline.
The meeting of the king with the divine physician whose coming had been announced to him in a dream.
How the king led the physician to the bedside of the sick girl, that he might see her condition.
How that saint demanded of the king to be alone with the handmaiden for the purpose of discovering her malady.
How the saint, having discovered the (cause of) the illness, laid it before the king.
How the king sent messengers to Samarcand to fetch the goldsmith.
Setting forth how the slaying and poisoning of the goldsmith was (prompted) by Divine suggestion, not by sensual desire and wicked meditation.
The story of the greengrocer and the parrot and the parrot's spilling the oil in the shop.
Story of the Jewish king who for bigotry's sake used to slay the Christians.
How the vizier instructed the king to plot.
How the vizier brought the Christians into doubt and perplexity.
How the Christians let themselves be duped by the vizier.
How the Christians followed the vizier.
Story of the Caliph's seeing Laylá.
Explanation of the envy of the vizier.
How the sagacious among the Christians perceived the guile of the vizier.
How the king sent messages in secret to the vizier.
How in the time of ‘Umar, may God be well-pleased with him, a certain person imagined that what he saw was the new moon.
How a snake-catcher stole a snake from another snake-catcher.
How the companion of Jesus, on whom be peace, entreated Jesus, on whom be peace, to give life to the bones.
How the Súfí enjoined the servant to take care of his beast and how the servant said, “Lá hawl.”
How the explanation of the (inner) meaning of the tale was stopped because of the hearer's desire to hear the superficial form of it.
How the people of the caravan supposed the Súfí's beast was ill.
How the King found his falcon in the house of a decrepit old woman.
How by Divine inspiration Shaykh Ahmad son of Khizrúya, may God sanctify his revered spirit, bought halwá (sweetmeat) for his creditors.
How a certain person frightened an ascetic, saying, “Weep little, lest thou become blind.”
Conclusion of the story of the coming to life of the bones at the prayer of Jesus, on whom be peace!
How a peasant stroked a lion in the dark, because he thought it was his ox.
How the Súfís sold the traveller's beast (to pay) for the (expenses of the) mystic dance.
How the criers of the Cadi advertised an insolvent round the town.
How the prisoners laid a complaint of the insolvent's high-handedness before the agent of the Cadi.
How men blamed a person who killed his mother because he suspected her (of adultery).
How the King made trial of the two slaves whom he had recently purchased.
How the King sent away one of the two slaves and interrogated the other.
How the slave, from the purity of his thought, swore to the truth and loyalty of his friend.
How the (King's) retainers envied the favourite slave.
How the thirsty man threw bricks from the top of the wall into the stream of water.
How the Governor commanded a certain man, saying, “Root up the thorn bush which you have planted on the road.”
How friends came to the madhouse for Dhu ’l-Nún—may God sanctify his honoured spirit!
How the disciples understood that Dhu ’l-Nún had not become mad, (but) had acted with intention.
Resumption of the story of Dhu ’l-Nún, may God sanctify his spirit!
How Luqmán's master tested his sagacity.
How the excellence and sagacity of Luqmán became manifest to those who made trial (of him).
Conclusion of (the story) how the (other) retainers envied the King’s favourite slave.
How reverence for the message of Solomon, on whom be peace, was reflected in the heart of Bilqís from the despicable form of the hoopoe.
How a philosopher showed disbelief at the recitation of (the text), “if your water shall have sunk into the ground.”
How Moses, on whom be peace, took offence at the prayer of the shepherd.
How the high God rebuked Moses, on whom be peace, on account of the shepherd.
How the (Divine) revelation came to Moses, on whom be peace, excusing that shepherd.
How Moses, on whom be peace, asked the high God (to explain) the secret of the predominance of the unjust.
How an Amír harassed a sleeping man into whose mouth a snake had gone.
On putting trust in the fawningness and good faith of the bear.
How a sightless beggar said, “I have two blindnesses.”
Continuation of the story of the bear and of the fool who had put trust in its good faith.
How Moses, on whom be peace, said to one who worshipped the (golden) calf, “Where is (what has become of) thy vain scepticism and precaution?”
How the man of sincere counsel, after having done his utmost in (the way of) admonition, took leave of him who was deluded by (his confidence in) the bear.
How the madman sought to ingratiate himself with Jálínús (Galen), and how Jálínús was afraid.
The cause of a bird's flying and feeding with a bird that is not of its own kind.
Conclusion of the (story concerning the) trust of that deluded man in the fawningness of the bear.
How Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace, went to visit the sick Companion; and an exposition of the profit of visiting the sick.
How the high God revealed to Moses, on whom be peace, (the words), “Wherefore didst not thou visit Me in sickness?”
How the gardener isolated the Súfí, the jurist, and the descendant of ‘Alí from one another.
Returning to the story of the sick man and the visit paid (to him) by the Prophet, God bless him and grant him peace!
How a certain Shaykh said to Báyazíd, “I am the Ka‘ba: perform a circumambulation round me.”
How the Prophet-God bless and save him! –– perceived that the cause of that person’s sickness was irreverence in prayer.
How Dalqak excused himself to the Sayyid-i Ajall (who asked him) why he had married a harlot.
How an inquirer managed to draw into conversation an eminent (saintly) man who had feigned to be mad.
How the dog attacked the mendicant who was blind.
How the Police Inspector summoned the man who had fallen dead-drunk (on the ground) to (go to) prison.
How the inquirer, for the second time, drew that eminent (saint) into conversation, in order that his condition might be made better known (to the inquirer).
Conclusion of the admonishment given by the Prophet, God bless and save him, to the sick man.
How the Prophet, God bless and save him, gave injunctions to the sick man and taught him to pray.
How Iblís awakened Mu‘áwiya—may God be well-pleased with him!—saying, “Arise, it is time for prayer.”
How Iblís gave Mu‘áwiya, may God be well-pleased with him, a fall, and practiced dissimulation and pretence, and how Mu‘áwiya answered him.
How Iblís again made answer to Mu‘áwiya.
How Mu‘áwiya again exposed the deceitfulness of Iblís.
How Iblís again replied to Mu‘áwiya.
How Mu‘áwiya dealt sternly with Iblís.
How Mu‘áwiya complained of Iblís to the most high God and besought His aid.
How Iblís once more exhibited his deceit.
How Mu‘áwiya once more pressed Iblís hard.
How a cadi complained of the calamity of (holding) the office of cadi, and how his deputy answered him.
How Mu‘áwiya—may God be well-pleased with him!— induced Iblís to confess.
How Iblís told truly his hidden thought to Mu‘áwiya—may God be well-pleased with him!
The excellence of the remorse felt by one who was sincere (in his devotion) for having missed the congregational prayers.
Conclusion of the confession made by Iblís to Mu‘áwiya of his deceit.
How a thief escaped because some one gave the alarm to the master of the house, who had nearly overtaken and caught the thief.
The story of the Hypocrites and their building the Mosque of Opposition.
How the Hypocrites cajoled the Prophet—God bless and save him!—that they might take him to the Mosque of Opposition.
How one of the Companions—may God be well-pleased with them!—thought (to himself) disapprovingly, “Why does not the Prophet—God bless and save him!—throw a veil (over their hypocrisy)?”
Story of the person who was seeking after his stray camel and inquiring about it.
On being perplexed amidst discordant doctrines and finding (a means of) escape and deliverance.
On making trial of everything, so that the good and evil which are in it may be brought to view.
Explaining the moral of the story of the person seeking (the lost) camel.
Showing that there is in every soul the mischief of the Mosque of Opposition.
Story of the Indian who quarrelled with his friend over a certain action and was not aware that he too was afflicted with (guilty of) it.
How the Ghuzz set about killing one man in order that another might be terrorised.
Explaining the state of those who are self-conceited and unthankful for the blessing of the existence of the prophets and saints—peace be unto them!
How an old man complained of his ailments to a doctor, and how the doctor answered him.
The story of Júhí and the child who cried lamentably beside his father's bier.
Timet puer quidam hominem corpulentum. “Ne timueris,” inquit, “O puer; ego enim vir non sum.”
The story of an archer and his fear of a horseman who was riding in a forest.
Story of the desert Arab and his putting sand in the sack and the philosopher's rebuking him.
The miracles of Ibráhím son of Adham—may God sanctify his holy spirit!—on the seashore.
The beginning of the gnostic's illumination by the Light which sees the invisible world.
How a stranger reviled the Shaykh and how the Shaykh's disciple answered him.
The rest of the story of Ibráhím son of Adham-may God sanctify his spirit!on the sea-shore.
The statement of a certain individual that God most High would not punish him for sin, and Shu‘ayb’s answer to him.
Remainder of the story of the stranger’s reviling the Shaykh.
How ‘Á’isha—may God be well-pleased with her!—said to Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace, “Thou performest the prayer anywhere, without a prayer-carpet.”
How the mouse pulled (the rope attached to) the camel's nose-ring and became self conceited.
The miracles of the dervish who was suspected of theft in a ship.
How some Súfís abused a certain Súfí, saying that he talked too much in the presence of the Shaykh.
How the dervish excused himself to the Shaykh.
Explaining (that there are) some assertions the truth of which is attested by their very nature.
How Yahyá*, on whom be peace, in his mother's womb bowed in worship to the Messiah (Jesus), on whom be peace.
On raising a difficulty as to this story.
The answer to the difficulty.
On mute eloquence and the understanding of it.
How worthless sayings find acceptance in the minds of worthless folk.
On seeking the tree whereof none that eats the fruit shall die.
How the Shaykh explained the hidden meaning of the tree to the seeker who was in the bondage of formalism.
How four persons quarrelled about grapes, which were known to each of them by a different name.
How dissension and enmity amongst the Ansár were removed by the blessings of the Prophet—may God bless and save him!
The story of the ducklings which were fostered by a domestic fowl.
How the pilgrims were amazed at the miracles of the ascetic whom they found (living) alone in the desert.
Story of those who ate the young elephant from greed and because they neglected the advice of the sincere counsellor.
The remainder of the Story of those who molested the young elephants.
Returning to the Story of the elephant.
Explaining that in the sight of the Beloved a fault committed by lovers is better than the correctness of strangers.
How God most High commanded Moses, on whom be peace, saying, “Call unto Me with a mouth with which thou hast not sinned.”
Showing that the supplicant's invocation of God is essentially the same thing as God's response to him.
How the countryman deceived the townsman and invited him with humble entreaties and great importunity.
(Story of the people of Sabá and how prosperity made them forward.)
How the smitten would assemble every morning at the door of the (monastic) cell of Jesus, on whom be peace, craving to be healed through his prayer.
The remainder of the Story of the people of Saba.
The rest of the Story of the Khwaja’s going to the village on the invitation of the countryman.
How the falcon invited the ducks to come from the water to the plain.
The Story of the people of Zarwán and how they contrived that they should pick the fruit in their orchards without being troubled by the poor.
The Khwaja’s departure to the country.
How the Khwaja and his family went to the country.
How Majnún petted the dog that lived in Layla's abode.
How the Khwája and his kinsfolk arrived at the village, and how the countryman pretended not to see or recognise them:
How the jackal fell into the dyeing-vat and was dyed with many colours and pretended amongst the jackals that he was a peacock.
How a braggart greased his lips and moustache every morning with the skin of a fat sheep's tail and came amongst his companions, saying, “I have eaten such and such (viands).”
How Bal‘am the son of Bá‘úr was (felt himself) secure, because the Lord had made (many) tests (of him) and he had come through them honourably.
How the jackal which had fallen into the dyer’s vat pretended to be a peacock.
Comparison of Pharaoh and his pretence of divinity to the jackal which pretended to be a peacock.
Explanation of (the text), And thou wilt surely know them in the perversion of their speech.
The Story of Hárút and Márút and their boldness in encountering the probation of God most High.
The Story of Pharaoh's dream of the coming of Moses, on whom be peace, and how he took thought to relieve himself (of the threatened danger).
How they summoned the Israelites to the maydán, as a device to prevent the begetting ofMoses, on whom be peace.
How Pharaoh returned from the maydán to the city, glad at having parted the Israelites from their wives on the night of the conception (of Moses).
How ‘Imrán lay with the mother of Moses and how the mother of Moses, on him be peace, became pregnant.
How after having lain with her ‘Imrán charged his wife to pretend that she had not visited him.
How Pharaoh was frightened by the noise.
The appearance of the star of Moses, on whom be peace, in the sky and the outcry of the astrologers in the maydán.
How Pharaoh summoned the women who had new-born children to the maydán, (doing this) also for the sake of his plot (against Moses).
How Moses was born and how the officers came to ‘Imrán's house and how it was divinely revealed to the mother of Moses that she should cast Moses into the fire.
How it was divinely revealed to the mother of Moses that she should throw Moses into the water.
Story of the snake-catcher who thought the frozen serpent was dead and wound it in ropes and brought it to Baghdád.
How Pharaoh threatened Moses, on whom be peace.
The answer of Moses to Pharaoh concerning the threats which he made against him.
The reply of Pharaoh to Moses, on whom be peace.
The answer of Moses, on whom be peace, to Pharaoh.
The reply of Pharaoh to Moses, and the coming of a Divine revelation to Moses, on whom be peace.
How Moses, on whom be peace, gave Pharaoh a respite, that he might assemble the magicians from the cities.
How Pharaoh sent (messengers) to the cities in search of the magicians.
How those two magicians summoned their father from the grave and questioned their father's spirit concerning the real nature of Moses, on whom be peace.
How the dead magician answered his sons.
Comparison of the sublime Qur’án to the rod of Moses, and the death of Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace, to the sleep of Moses, and those who seek to alter the Qur’án to the two young magicians who attempted to carry off the rod of Moses when they found him asleep.
How the magicians from the cities assembled before Pharaoh and received robes of honour and laid their hands upon their breasts, (pledging themselves) to subdue his enemy (Moses), and saying, “Write this down against us.”
The disagreement as to the description and shape of the elephant.
Reconciliation of these two Traditions: “To be satisfied with infidelity is an act of infidelity,” and “If any one is not satisfied with My ordainment, let him seek a lord other than Me.”
A parable illustrating the fact that (mystical) bewilderment prevents investigation and consideration.
Story of a lover's being engrossed in reading and perusing a love-letter in the presence of his beloved, and how the beloved was displeased thereat. It is shameful to seek the proof in the presence of that which is proved, and blameworthy to occupy one's self with knowledge after having attained to that which is known.
Story of the person who in the time of David, on whom be peace, used to pray night and day, crying, “Give me a lawful livelihood without trouble (on my part).”
How a cow ran into the house of him that was praying importunately. The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, has said, “God loves them that are importunate in prayer,” because the actual asking (of anything) from God most High and the importunity (itself) is better for the petitioner than the thing which he is asking of Him.
The Poet's excusing himself and asking help.
Explaining that Knowledge has two wings, and Opinion (only) one: “Opinion is defective and curtailed in flight”; and a comparison illustrating opinion and certainty in knowledge.
Parable of a man's being made (spiritually) ill by vain conceit of the veneration in which he is held by the people and of the supplication addressed to him by those seeking his favour; and the (following) story of the Teacher.
People's intellects differ in their original nature, (though) according to the Mu‘tazilites they are (originally) equal and the difference in intellects arises from the acquisition of knowledge.
How the boys made the teacher imagine (that he was ill).
How Pharaoh was made (spiritually) ill by vain imagination arising from the people's reverence (for him).
How the teacher was made ill by imagination.
How the master went to bed and moaned, imagining himself to be ill.
How for the second time the boys made the master imagine (that he was ill), saying that their recitation of the Qur’án would increase his headache.
How the boys escaped from school by this trick.
How the mothers of the boys went to visit the sick master.
Explaining that the body is as a garment to the spirit, and that this (bodily) hand is the sleeve of the spirit's hand, and that this (bodily) foot is the shoe of the spirit's foot.
Story of the dervish who had secluded himself in the mountains, with an account of the sweetness of severance (from the world) and seclusion and of entering upon this path, for (God hath said), “I am the companion of them that commemorate Me and the friend of them that take Me as their friend. If thou art with all, thou art without all when thou art without Me; And if thou art without all, thou art with all when thou art with Me.”
How a goldsmith discerned the end of the affair and spoke in accordance with the end to one who wished to borrow his scales.
The rest of the Story of the ascetic of the mountain who had made a vow that he would not pluck any mountain fruit from the trees or shake the trees or tell any one to shake them, either plainly or in veiled terms, and that he would only eat what the wind might cause to fall from the trees.
A comparison (showing that) the bonds and snares of Destiny, though outwardly invisible, are manifest in their effects.
How the dervish who had made the vow was reduced (by hunger) to plucking the pears from the tree, and how God’s chastisement came (upon him) without delay.
How the Shaykh was suspected of being in company with thieves and had his hand cut off.
The miraculous gifts of Shaykh Aqta’, and how he used to weave palm-leaf baskets with both hands.
The reason why the magicians of Pharaoh had courage to suffer the amputation of their hands and feet.
How the mule complained to the camel, saying, “I am often falling on my face, while thou fallest but seldom.”
How by permission of God the particles of the ass of ‘Uzayr were assembled after putrefaction and recompounded before the eyes of ‘Uzayr.
How a certain Shaykh showed no grief at the death of his sons.
How the Shaykh excused himself for not weeping on the death of his sons.
Story of the blind old man's reading the Qur’án in front (of him) and regaining his sight when he read.
How Luqmán, when he saw David, on whom be peace, making (iron) rings, refrained from questioning him, with the intention that this act of self-control should be the cause of relief (from perplexity).
The remainder of the story of the blind man and his reading the Qur’án.
Description of some saints who are content with the (Divine) ordainments and do not pray and beseech (God) to change this decree.
How Buhlúl questioned a certain dervish.
The story of Daqúqí and his miraculous gifts.
Return to the story of Daqúqí.
The mystery of Moses seeking Khizr, notwithstanding his perfection as a prophet and as one nigh unto God.
Resuming the story of Daqúqí.
The apparition of what seemed like seven candles in the direction of the shore.
How the seven candles became what seemed like one candle.
How those candles appeared to the eye as seven men.
How those candles now became seven trees.
How those trees were invisible to the people.
How the seven trees became one.
How the seven trees became seven men.
How Daqúqí went forward to act as Imám.
How Daqúqí went forward to lead that company (in prayer).
How the company followed the leadership of Daqúqí.
Explaining that the salutation (in prayer) towards the right hand at the Resurrection indicates (the worshipper's) dread of being examined by God and (his) seeking help and intercession from the prophets.
How during the ritual prayer Daqúqí heard cries of distress from a ship that was about to sink.
The ideas of the prudent man.
Daqúqí's entreaty and intercession for the deliverance of the ship.
How the company (of the Seven) took offence at Daqúqí's invocation and intercession, and flew away and disappeared in the Veil of the Unseen World; and how Daqúqí was bewildered (and did not know) whether they had gone into the air or on the earth.
Explaining further the story of him who in the time of David, on whom be peace, sought to receive (from God) lawful means of livelihood without working or taking trouble, and how his prayer was answered favourably.
How both the adversaries went to the prophet David, on whom be peace.
How David, on whom be peace, heard what both the litigants had to say, and interrogated the defendant.
How David, on whom be peace, gave judgement against the slayer of the cow.
How that person earnestly appealed (to God) against the judgement of David, on whom be peace.
How David went into seclusion in order that the truth might be made manifest.
How David gave judgement against the owner of the cow, bidding him withdraw from the case concerning the cow; and how the owner of the cow reproached David, on whom be peace.
How David pronounced sentence against the owner of the cow, saying, “Give him (the defendant) the whole of your property.”
How David, on whom be peace, resolved to summon the people to a certain plain, in older that he might disclose the mystery and make an end of all arguments.
How hands and feet and tongue give evidence concerning the secret of the wicked, even in this world.
How the people went forth to that tree.
How David, on whom be peace, ordered that retaliation should be taken on the murderer after his conviction.
Explaining that Man’s fleshly soul is in the position of the murderer who had become a claimant on account of the cow, and that the slayer of the cow is the intellect, and that David is God or the Shaykh who is God’s vicar, by means, of whose strength and support it is possible to kill the wicked (murderer) and be enriched with (spiritual) daily bread that is not earned by labour and for which, there is no reckoning.
How Jesus, on whom be peace, fled to the top of a mountain (to escape) from the fools.
The story of the people of Sabá and their folly, and how the admonition of the prophets produces no effect upon the foolish.
Explaining (what is signified by) the far-sighted blind man, the deaf man who is sharp of hearing, and the naked man with the long skirts.
Description of the luxuriance of the city of the Sabaeans and their ingratitude.
How the prophets came from God to admonish the people of Sabá.
How the people (of Sabá) demanded miracles from the prophets.
How the people suspected the prophets.
Story of the hares who sent a hare as ambassador to the elephant, bidding him say, ‘I come to thee as the ambassador of the Moon in heaven to bid thee beware of (drinking from) this water-spring,’ as is told in full in the Book of Kalíla (and Dimna).
How the prophets answered their sneers and uttered parables unto them.
[Explaining that it is not seemly for every one to adduce parables, especially concerning Divine actions.]
How the people of Noah uttered similitudes derisively at the time of his building the Ark
Story of the thief who was asked, “What are you doing at the bottom of this wall at midnight?” and replied, “I am beating a drum.”
The answer to the parable which the unbelievers related concerning the hare's being sent as ambassador with a message to the elephant from the Moon in heaven.
The meaning of prudence, and a parable of the prudent man.
The banefulness of the action of the bird that abandons prudence from (motives of) greed and vain desire.
Story of the vow made by the dogs every winter that when next summer comes they will build a house for the winter.
How the unbelievers stopped the prophets, on whom be peace, from giving admonition and brought forward Necessitarian arguments.
The answer of the prophets, on whom be peace, to the Necessitarians.
How the infidels repeated the Necessitarian arguments.
How the prophets, on whom be peace, answered them again.
How the people (of Sabá) repeated their resistance to the (prophets') hope (of converting them and set themselves) against the prophets, on whom be peace.
How the prophets, on whom be peace, answered them once more.
The wisdom of (God's) having created Hell in the world hereafter and the prison of (tribulation in) the present world to the end that they may be places of worship for the arrogant (evil-doers): “Come ye willingly or unwillingly.”
Explaining how God most High has made the bodily form of kings a means of subduing the insolent (sinners) who are not subject to God, just as Moses, on whom be peace, built the Báb-i Saghír in the wall of Jerusalem in order that the insolent (and wicked) men among the Israelites might bow low when they entered in, (according to the text), “Enter the gate, prostrating yourselves, and say ‘hittatun.’”
Story of the Súfí's being enamoured of the empty food-wallet.
How Jacob, on whom be peace, was privileged to taste the cup of God from the face of Joseph, and inhale the scent of God from the scent of Joseph; and the exclusion of his (Joseph's) brethren and others from both these (privileges).
Story of the Amír and his slave who was very fond of the ritual prayer and had a great joy in the ritual prayer and in communing with God.
How the prophets lost hope of being accepted and approved by the unbelievers, as God hath said: “Until, when the (Divine) Messengers despaired…”
Explaining how the faith of the conventional (worldly) man consists in fear and hope.
Setting forth how the Prophet, on whom be peace, said, “Verily, God most High hath friends who are concealed.”
The story of Anas, may God be pleased with him: how he cast a napkin into a fiery oven, and it was not burnt.
Story of the Prophet's, on whom be peace, coming to the aid of a caravan of Arabs who had been brought to sore straits by thirst and lack of water and had set their minds on death: (both) the camels and the people (of the caravan) had let their tongues drop out (of their mouths from exhaustion).
How he (the Prophet) miraculously filled the slave's water-skin with water from the Unseen World and made the face of that negro slave white by permission of God most High.
How the master saw his slave white and did not recognise him and said, “Thou hast killed my slave: the murder hath found thee out, and God hath thrown thee into my hands.”
Explaining that whatsoever God most High bestowed and created— the heavens and the earths and the substances and the accidents— He created all (this) at the demand of need, and that one must make one's self in need of a thing, so that He may bestow it; for “… Or He who answers the sorely distressed when he calls unto Him?” Sore distress is the evidence of worthiness (to receive the Divine bounty).
How the unbelieving woman came to Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace, with a sucking babe, and how it spoke, like Jesus, of the miracles of the Prophet, God bless and save him!
How an eagle seized the boot of the Prophet, on whom be peace, and carried it into the air and turned it upside down, and how a black serpent dropped down from the boot.
The right way of taking a lesson from this story and knowing with certainty that “verily, together with hardship there is ease.”
How a certain man demanded of Moses (that he should teach him) the language of the beasts and birds.
How Revelation came from God most High to Moses that he should teach him the thing demanded by him, or part of it.
How that seeker was content to be taught the language of domestic fowls and dogs, and how Moses, on whom be peace; complied with his request.
The cock's answer to the dog.
[How the cock became abashed before the dog on account of being false in those three promises.]
How the cock foretold the death of the Khwája.
How that person ran to Moses for protection when he heard from the cock the announcement of his death.
How Moses prayed for that person, that he might depart from the world (die) in the Faith.
How God most High answered favourably the prayer of Moses, on whom be peace.
Story of the woman whose children never lived (long), and how, when she made lamentation (to God), the answer came—“That is instead of thy (unpractised) ascetic discipline and is for thee in lieu of the self-mortification of those who mortify themselves.”
How Hamza, may God be well-pleased with him, came to battle without a coat of mail.
The reply of Hamza to the people.
The means of preventing one's self from being swindled in sale and purchase.
How Bilál, may God be well-pleased with him, died rejoicing.
The (Divine) wisdom in ruining the body by death.
Comparison of this world, which is wide in appearance and narrow in reality, (to a bathroom), and comparison (of the next world) to sleep, which is the (means of) release from this narrowness.
Setting forth that whatever is (denoted by the terms) heedlessness and anxiety and indolence and darkness is all (derived) from the body, which belongs to the earth and the lower world.
Comparison between Statute and analogy.
The rules to be observed by listeners and disciples at the emanation of wisdom from the tongue of the Shaykh.
How every animal knows the smell of its enemy and takes precaution. The folly and perdition of him that is the enemy of that One against whom precaution is impossible, and flight is impossible, and resistance is impossible.
The difference between knowing a thing by comparison and convention and knowing the quiddity of that thing.
How the negation and affirmation of one (and the same) thing may be combined and reconciled from the standpoint of relativity and difference of aspect.
The question of the faná and baqá of the dervish.
Story of the Sadr-i Jahán's Wakíl (minister), who fell under suspicion and fled from Bukhárá in fear of his life; then love drew him back irresistibly, for the matter of life is of small account to lovers.
The appearance of the Holy Spirit (Gabriel) in the shape of a man to Mary when she was undressed and washing herself, and how she took refuge with God.
[How the Holy Spirit said to Mary, “I am sent to thee by God: be not agitated and do not hide from me, for this is the (Divine) command.”]
How that Wakil, (moved) by love, made up his mind to return to Bukhara recklessly.
How a loved one asked her lover who had travelled in foreign countries, “Which city didst thou find the fairest and most thronged and the most magnificent and rich and charming?”
How his friends hindered him from returning to Bukhárá and threatened him, and how he said, “I don't care.”
How the lover, impelled by love, said “I don't care” to the person who counselled and scolded him.
How that loving servant turned his face towards Bukhárá.
How the reckless lover entered Bukhárá, and how his friends deterred him from showing himself.
How the lover answered those who scolded and threatened him.
How that lover reached his Beloved when he washed his hands of (gave up) his life.
Description of the lover-killing mosque and of the death-seeking reckless lover who became a guest there.
How the guest came into the mosque.
How the people of the mosque blamed the lover-guest for (his intention of) sleeping the night there and threatened him.
The lover's reply to those who chid him.
The love of (a) Galen is for this present life, for only here does his art avail; he has not practised any art that avails in yonder market: there he sees himself to be the same as the vulgar.
How the people of the mosque blamed the guest once more for (his intention of) sleeping in the mosque by night.
How Satan said to the Quraysh, “Go to war with Ahmad (Mohammed), for I will aid you and call my tribe to help”; and how, when the two battle-lines confronted each other, he fled.
How the fault-finders repeated their advice to the guest of the guest-killing mosque.
How the guest answered them and adduced the parable of the guardian of the cornfield who, by making a noise with the tomtom, sought to drive away from the cornfield a camel on whose back they were beating the big kettle-drum of (Sultan) Mahmúd.
Comparison of the true believer's fleeing (from tribulation) and his impatience in affliction to the agitation and restlessness of chick-peas and other pot-herbs when boiling in the pot, and to their running upwards in order to jump out.
A comparison showing how the true believer becomes patient when he understands the inward meaning and the beneficial nature of tribulation.
(Showing) how the housewife made apologies to the chickpea, and (explaining) the wise purpose in her keeping the chickpea on the boil.
The remainder of the story of the guest of that guest-killing mosque, and his firmness and sincerity.
Account of the conception of evil fancies by those deficient in understanding.
Commentary on the Tradition of Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace, that the Qur’án hath an exterior (sense) and an interior (sense), and that its interior (sense) hath an interior (sense), (and so on) to seven interior (senses).
It is explained that the going of the prophets and the saints, on whom be peace, to mountains and caves, is not for the purpose of hiding themselves and on account of their fear of being disturbed by the people, but for the purpose of guiding the people in the right way and inciting them to abandon this world as much as is possible.
Comparison of the form of the saints and the form of the speech of the saints to the form of the rod of Moses and to the form of the incantation of Jesus, peace be on them both!
Commentary on (the text), O ye mountains, repeat (the praise of God) in accord with him, and the birds (likewise).
Reply to him who rails at the Mathnawi on account of his being deficient in understanding.
Parable of the foal's refusing to drink the water because of the bawling of the grooms.
The remainder of the story of the guest in the guest-killing mosque.
Commentary on the verse (of the Qur’án): “And raise the battle-cry against them with thy horsemen and men on foot.”
How the talismanic cry came at midnight to (the ears of) the guest in the mosque.
The meeting of the lover with the Sadr-i Jahán.
How each element attracts its congener that has been imprisoned in the human constitution by the non-homogeneous (elements).
How likewise the soul is drawn to the world of spirits, and how it craves and desires its home, and becomes severed from the bodily parts which are a fetter on the leg of the spiritual falcon.
(Showing that) the annulment and destruction of (human) resolutions (is) in order to let man know that He (God) is the Lord and the Almighty; and His occasional non-annulment of his (man's) resolution and His carrying it into effect (is) in order that hope may urge him to form a resolution, so that He again may destroy it, to the end that warning may follow on warning.
How the Prophet, on whom be peace, looked at the captives and smiled and said, “I marvel at folk who are dragged to Paradise in chains and shackles.”
[Commentary on the verse (of the Qur’án), “If ye ask for a decision, the decision has indeed come to you. O railers, ye were saying, ‘Give the decision and victory to us or to Mohammed, whichever is in the right’; and ye were saying this in order that it might be supposed that ye were seeking the right disinterestedly. Now We have given the victory to Mohammed, to the end that ye may see the champion of the right.”]
The hidden reason why God most High gave the title of “victory” to the return of the Prophet, on whom be peace, from Hudaybiya without having gained his purpose: as (God said), “Lo, We have opened (to thee the way to) victory”; for it was a locking in appearance (only), and in reality an opening, just as the crushing of musk is apparently a crushing, but really the confirmation of its muskiness and the exhibition of its virtues in their perfection.
Commentary on the Tradition that Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace, said, “Do not declare me to be more excellent than Yúnus ibn Mattá.”
How the Prophet, on whom be peace, became aware of their chiding him for his exultation.
Showing that the rebellious sinner in the very act of overpowering is overpowered, and in the very moment of victory is made captive.
How the Beloved attracts the lover in such wise that the lover neither knows it nor hopes for it, nor does it occur to his mind, nor does any trace of that attraction appear in the lover except the fear that is mingled with despair, though he still perseveres in the quest.
How, in the presence of Solomon, on whom be peace, the gnat appealed for justice against the Wind.
How Solomon, on whom be peace, commanded the plaintiff gnat to bring its adversary to the court of judgement.
How the Beloved caressed the senseless lover, that he might return to his senses.
How the senseless lover came to himself and turned his face in praise and thanksgiving to the Beloved.
Story of the lover who had been long separated (from his beloved) and had suffered much tribulation.
How the lover found his beloved; and a discourse showing that the seeker is a finder, for he who shall do as much good as the weight of an ant shall see it (in the end).
Conclusion of the story of the lover who fled from the night-patrol into an orchard unknown to him, and for joy at finding his beloved in the orchard called down blessings on the night-patrol and said, "It may be that ye loathe a thing although it is better for you."
Story of the preacher who at the beginning of every exhortation used to pray for the unjust and hard-hearted and irreligious.
How they asked Jesus, on whom be peace, saying, "O Spirit of God, what is the hardest thing to bear of all the hard things in existence?"
The lover’s attempted perfidy, and how the beloved scolded him.
Story of the Súfí who caught his wife with a strange man.
How the wife, for the sake of imposition, hid the beloved one under her chádar and offered a false excuse, "for verily, great is the cunning of you (women)."
How the wife said that she (the lady) was not bent upon household goods, and that what she wanted was modesty and virtue; and how the Súfí answered her (his wife) cryptically.
The purpose for which God is called Samí‘ (Hearing) and Basír (Seeing).
Comparison of this world to a bath-stove and of piety to the bath.
Story of the tanner who fainted and sickened on smelling otto and musk in the bazaar of the perfumers.
How the tanner’s brother sought to cure him secretly with the smell of dung.
How the lover begged to be excused for his sin, (but) with duplicity and dissimulation; and how the beloved perceived that also.
How the beloved rejected the excuses of the lover and rubbed h duplicity into him
How the Jew said to ‘Alí, may God honour his person, "If thou hast confidence in God's protection, cast thyself down from the top of this kiosk"; and how the Prince of the Faithful answered him.
Story of the Farther Mosque and the carob and how, before (the reign of) Solomon, on whom be peace, David, on whom be peace, resolved on building that Mosque.
Explanation of "Verily, the Faithful are brothers, and the ‘ulamá (divines) are as one soul"; in particular, the oneness of David, Solomon, and all the other prophets, on whom be peace: if you disbelieve in one of them, (your) faith in any prophet will not be perfect; and this is the sign of (their) oneness, that if you destroy a single one of those thousands of houses, all the rest will be destroyed, and not a single wall will be left standing; for "We make no distinction between any of them (the prophets)." Indication is sufficient for him that hath intelligence: this goes even beyond indication.
The rest of the Story of the building of the Farther Mosque.
Story of the beginning of the Caliphate of ‘Uthmán, may God be well-pleased with him, and his sermon expounding that the doer who exhorts by deeds is better than the speaker who exhorts by words.
Explaining that (while) philosophers say that Man is the microcosm, theosophists say that Man is the macrocosm, the reason being that philosophy is confined to the phenomenal form of Man, whereas theosophy is connected with the essential truth of his true nature.
Exposition of the Hadíth, "The parable of my community is the parable of the Ship (Ark) of Noah: whoso shall cleave to it is saved, and whoso shall hold back from it is drowned."
Story of Bilqís' sending a gift from the city of Sabá to Solomon, on whom be peace.
The miraculous gifts and illumination of Shaykh ‘Abdullah Maghribi, may God sanctify his spirit.
How Solomon, on whom be peace, bade the envoys of Bilqis ret urn to her with the gifts which they had brought; and how he called Bilqis to (accept) the Faith and to abandon sun-worship.
Story of the druggist whose balance-weight was clay for washing the head; and how a customer, who was a clay-eater, stole some of that clay covertly and secretly, whilst sugar was being weighed.
How Solomon, on whom be peace, showed affection and kindness to the envoys and removed (feelings of) resentment and injury from their hearts and explained to them the reason for declining the gift.
How a dervish saw in dream a company of Shaykhs and begged for a daily portion of lawful food (which he should receive) without being occupied with earning (it) and being (thereby) incapacitated from devotional service; and how they directed him, and how the sour and bitter mountain-fruit became sweet to him through the bounty of those Shaykhs.
How he formed an intention, saying, ‘I will give this money to that carrier of firewood, since I have obtained daily provision through the miraculous gifts of the Shaykhs’; and how the carrier of firewood was offended by his secret thought and intention.
[How Solomon, on whom be peace, urged the envoys to hasten the emigration of Bilqis (from her kingdom) for the Faith’s sake.]
The cause of the emigration of (Ibráhím son of) Adham, may God sanctify his spirit, and his abandoning the kingdom of Khurásán.
Story of the thirsty man who dropped walnuts from the top of a walnut-tree into the water-brook that was in the hollow, without reaching the water (himself), in order that he might hear the sound made by the walnuts falling on the water, which thrilled him with joy as (though it were) sweet music.
How Solomon, on whom be peace, sent a threatening message to Bilqis, saying, "Do not think to persist in polytheism and do not make delay."
How Solomon, on whom be peace, explained (to Bilqis), saying, "My labour in (bringing about) thy (conversion to the) Faith is purely for God’s sake: I have not one atom of self-interest, either as regards thy person or thy beauty or thy kingdom. Thou thyself wilt see (this) when the eye of thy spirit is opened by the light of God."
The remainder of the story of Ibrahim son of Adham, may God sanctify his spirit.
The rest of the story of the people of Saba, and of the admonition and guidance given by Solomon, on whom be peace, to the kinsfolk of Bilqis—to every one (the particular guidance) suitable to his religious and spiritual difficulties; and how he caught (decoyed) each sort of conceptional bird with the whistle and bait proper for that sort of bird.
How Bilqis was freed from her kingdom and was intoxicated with longing for the Faith, and how at the moment of her (spiritual) emigration the regard of her desire became severed from the whole of her kingdom except from her throne.
How Solomon, on whom be peace, devised a plan for bringing the throne of Bilqis from Saba.
Story of Halíma's asking help of the idols when she lost Mustafá (Mohammed)—on whom be peace—after he was weaned, and how the idols trembled and prostrated themselves and bore witness to the grandeur of Mohammed's estate—may God bless and save him!
Story of the old Arab who directed Halíma to seek help from the idols.
How ‘Abdu ’l-Muttalib, the grandfather of Mustafá (Mohammed), got news of Halíma's having lost Mohammed, on whom be peace, and searched for him round the city and made lamentation at the door of the Ka‘ba and besought God and found him (Mohammed), on whom be peace.
How ‘Abdu ’l-Muttalib asked for a clue to the place where Mohammed was—peace be upon him!—saying, "Where shall I find him?" and how he was answered from within the Ka‘ba and obtained the clue.
The rest of the story of (the Divine) Mercy’s calling Bilqis.
Parable of Man's being contented with (the goods of) this world, and his greed in seeking (them) and his indifference to the high and blessed estate of the spiritual who are his congeners (and are) crying, "Oh, would that my people might know!"
The rest of the story of Solomon, on whom be peace: how he built the Farther Mosque (the Temple of Solomon) by instruction and inspiration from God, (given to him) for wise purposes which He (only) knows; and how angels, demons, genies, and men lent visible aid.
Story of the poet and how the king gave him a reward and how the vizier, whose name was Bu ’l-Hasan, made it many times greater.
How after several years the poet came back in the hope of (receiving) the same reward, and how the king according to his custom ordered a thousand dinars to be given to him, and how the new vizier, who was also named Hasan, said to the king, "This is very much: we have (great) expenses and the treasury is empty, and I will satisfy him with a tenth of that (sum)."
The resemblance of the bad judgement of this base vizier in corrupting the king's generosity to (that of) the vizier of Pharaoh, namely, Hámán, in corrupting the readiness of Pharaoh to receive (the true Faith).
How the Demon sat on the place (throne) of Solomon, on whom be peace, and imitated his actions; and concerning the manifest difference between the two Solomons, and how the Demon called himself Solomon son of David.
How Solomon, on whom be peace, entered the Farther Mosque daily, after its completion, for the purpose of worshipping and directing the worshippers and devotees; and how medicinal herbs grew in the Mosque.
How Qábíl (Cain) learned the trade of grave-digging from the crow (raven), before knowledge of grave-digging and graves existed in the world.
Story of the Súfí who, head on knee, was engaged in (spiritual) meditation in the garden: his friends said to him, "Lift up thy head and enjoy the garden and the sweet herbs and the birds and the marks of the mercy of God most High."
Story of the growing of the carob in a nook of the Farther Mosque, and how Solomon, on whom be peace, was grieved thereat, when it began to talk with him and told its characteristic property and its name
Explaining that the acquisition of knowledge and wealth and rank by men of evil nature is the (means of) exposing him (such a one) to shame and ü like a sword that has fallen into the hand of a brigand.
Commentary on "O thou that wrappest thyself."
Showing that (the proverb), "Omission to reply is a reply," confirms the saying that silence is the (proper) reply to the fool. The explanation of both these (sayings) is (contained) in the story which will now be related.
In exposition of the following Hadíth of Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace: "Verily, the most High God created the angels and set reason in them, and He created the beasts and set lust in them, and He created the sons of Adam and set in them reason and lust; and he whose reason prevails over his lust is higher than the angels, and he whose lust prevails over his reason is lower than the beasts."
In exposition of the following Verse: "and as for those in whose hearts is a disease, it (each new Súra of the Qur’án) added unto their uncleanness (wicked unbelief)"; and of His Word: "thereby He letteth many be led astray, and thereby He letteth many be guided aright."
The battle of the reason against the flesh is like the contention of Majnún with his she camel: Majnún's inclination is towards the noble woman (Laylá), while the she camel's inclination is (to go) back towards her foal, as Majnún said (in verse): "My she-camel's love is behind me, while my love is in front of me; and verily I and she are discordant."
How the slave wrote to the King a statement complaining of the reduction of his allowance
Story of the divine with a big turban and the man who carried it off, and how he (the divine) shouted, “Undo it and see what you are taking: then take it (if you wish)!”
The World's mute admonition to worldlings, and how it displays its faithlessness to those who have hope of its keeping faith (with them).
Explaining that the gnostic hath a nutriment (consisting) of the Light of God, for (the Prophet said), "I pass the night with my Lord: He giveth me meat and drink"; and "Hunger is God's food whereby He revives the bodies of the siddíqs," that is, "in hunger God's food reaches (them)."
Commentary on "Moses conceived a fear in his heart: We said, ‘Fear not, verily thou wilt be the superior.’"
Warning the pretender to shun pretension and enjoining him to follow (the true guide).
The rest of the story of the slave’s writing a petition for his allowance.
Story of the encomiast who from regard for reputation was thanking the object of his praise, while the scent (signs) of his inward grief and pain and the shabbiness of his outward garb showed that those expressions of gratitude were vain and false.
How the divine physicians detect diseases, religious and spiritual, in the countenance of friend or stranger and in the tones of his speech and the colour of his eyes, and even without all these (indications), by the way of the heart; for "verily, they are spies on the hearts (of men); therefore behave with sincerity when ye sit with them."
How Abú Yazíd (Bistámí) announced the birth of Abu ’l-Hasan Kharraqání—may God sanctify the spirit of them both—(many) years before it took place, and gave a detailed description of his outer and inner characteristics; and how the chronologers wrote it down for the purpose of observation.
The words of the Prophet, may God bless and save him, "Verily, I feel the Breath of the Merciful (God) from the direction of Yemen."
The reduction of the allowance of God’s food for the soul and heart of the Súfí .
How the slave was indignant because no reply to his letter arrived from the king.
How the wind blew perversely against Solomon, on whom be peace, because of his lapse.
How Shaykh Abu ’l-Hasan, may God be well-pleased with him, heard Báyazíd's announcement of his coming into existence and of what should happen to him.
How the slave wrote another letter to the king when he received no reply to the first letter.
Story that some one was consulting another, who said, "Consult some one else, for I am your enemy."
How the Prophet, on whom be peace, appointed a youth of Hudhayl to be commander of an expeditionary force in which there were elders and veteran warriors.
How an objector objected to the Prophet's—on whom be peace— appointing the man of Hudhayl to be commander.
How Mustafá, on whom be peace, answered the objector.
Story of Báyazíd's—may God sanctify his spirit—saying, "Glory to me! How grand is my estate!" and the objection raised by his disciples, and how he gave them an answer to this, not by the way of speech but by the way of vision (immediate experience).
Explaining the cause of the eloquence and loquacity of that impertinent man in the presence of the Prophet, on whom be peace.
How the Prophet, on whom be peace, explained the cause of his preferring and choosing the (young) man of Hudhayl as commander and chief of the army over the heads of the elders and veterans.
The marks of the wholly intelligent and the half-intelligent and the whole man and the half-man and the deluded worthless wretch doomed to perdition.
Story of the lake and the fishermen and the three fishes, one intelligent and one half intelligent and the third deluded, foolish, heedless and good-for-naught; and the end of all three.
The inner meaning of the recitation of the ablutionary prayers by one who performs the ritual ablution.
A certain person used to say at the time of abstersion, "O God, let me smell the sweet odour of Paradise" instead of "O God, make me one of those who repent much, and make me one of those who purify themselves," which is the (proper) form of prayer in abstersion; and he (also) used to recite the formula proper to abstersion at the time of rinsing his nose. A venerable man heard (him) and could not endure it.
Story of the captive bird which gave the (following) injunctions: do not feel sorrow for what is past, think about taking precaution for the present (need), and do not spend time in repenting.
How the half-intelligent fish devised a means (of escape) and feigned to be dead.
Explaining that the promise made by the fool at the moment of seizure (punishment) and contrition is faithless, for though they should be sent back, they would surely return to that which they were forbidden to do, and verily they are liars. The false dawn keeps not faith.
Explaining that imagination (wahm) is the counterfeit of Reason and in opposition to it, and that though it resembles Reason it is not Reason; and the story of the replies given to each other by Moses, on whom be peace, who was the possessor of Reason, and Pharaoh, who was the possessor of imagination.
Explaining that cultivation consists in devastation and composure in distraction and wholeness in brokenness and success in failure and existence in non-existence; and thus (with) the rest of the contraries and pairs.
Explaining that every percipient sense of man has different objects of perception too, of which the other senses are ignorant, as (for example) every skilled craftsman is unfamiliar with the work of those skilled in other crafts; and its (another sense's) ignorance of that which is not its business does not prove that those objects of perception are non-existent. Although it virtually denies them, yet here in this place we only mean by its ‘denial’ its ignorance.
How the people of this world attack the people of that (other) world and charge (against them) as far as the frontier, namely, generation and propagation, which is the boundary of the Unseen, and how they (the people of this world) are unaware of the ambush (prepared for them); for the infidel makes his assault (only) when the holy warrior does not go to war.
[Explaining that the earthen body of man, like iron of fine substance, is capable of becoming a mirror, so that therein even in this world Paradise and Hell and the Resurrection et cetera are shown by immediate vision, not in the mode of phantasy.]
How Moses, on whom be peace, declared (by inspiration) from the Unseen the secret thoughts and visions of Pharaoh, in order that he might truly believe in the omniscience of God or (at least) hold that opinion.
Explaining that the door of repentance is open.
How Moses, on whom be peace, said to Pharaoh, "Accept one counsel from me and take four excellent qualities as recompense."
How Moses, on whom be peace, explained those four excellent qualities (which should be bestowed) as a reward for Pharaoh's coming into the Faith.
Exposition of "I was a hidden treasure, and I desired to be known."
[How Man is deluded by the sagacity and imaginations of his (carnal) nature and does not seek knowledge of the Unseen, which is the knowledge possessed by the prophets.]
[Explanation of the Tradition, "Speak ye unto men according to the measure of their understandings, not according to the measure of your understandings, so that God and His messenger may not be given the lie."]
[The saying of the Prophet, on whom be peace, "Whosoever shall bring me the glad news of the expiration of (the month) Safar, I will give him the glad news of (his being destined to enter) Paradise."]
How Pharaoh took counsel with Ésiya (Ásiya) as to believing in Moses, on whom be peace.
Story of the king's falcon and the decrepit old woman.
Story of the woman whose child crawled to the top of the water-spout and was in danger of falling; (whereupon) she besought help of ‘Alí Murtadá, may God ennoble his person.
How Pharaoh took counsel with ha vizier, Hámán, as to believing in Moses, on whom be peace.
Showing the falsity of Hámán’s speech— the curse (of God) be upon him!
How Moses, on whom be peace, despaired of Pharaoh’s accepting the true faith, because the words of Hámán made an impression on Pharaoh’s heart.
How the Amírs of the Arabs wrangled with Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace, saying, "Share the kingdom with us, in order that there may be no contention"; and how Mustafá, on whom be peace, answered and said, "I am commanded (by God) in respect of this Amírate"; and the arguments on both sides.
Explaining that one who knows the power of God will not ask, "Where are Paradise and Hell?"
Reply to the materialist who disbelieves in the Deity and says that the world is eternal.
Commentary on the Verse, "And We did not create the heavens and the earth and what is between them save with real ground": (i.e.) "I did not create them for the sake of just this which ye see; nay, but for the sake of the essential meaning and everlasting providence which ye see not."
How God made a revelation to Moses, on whom be peace, saying, "O Moses, I who am the exalted Creator love thee."
How a king was enraged with his boon-companion, and an intercessor interceded on behalf of the object of (the king's) anger and begged the king (to pardon the offender); and how (when) the king accepted his intercession, the boon-companion resented the action of the intercessor and asked, "Why did you intercede?"
How Khalíl (Abraham) answered Gabriel, on both of whom be peace, when he asked him, "Hast thou any need?"—"As regards need of thee, no!"
How Moses, on whom be peace, besought the Lord, saying, "Thou didst create creatures and destroy them," and how the answer came.
Explaining that the animal spirit and the particular (discursive) reason and the imagination and the fancy may be compared to buttermilk, while the spirit, which is everlasting, is hidden in this buttermilk, like the butter.
Another parable on the same subject.
Story of the prince to whom the true kingdom displayed itself, (so that the realities of) "on the Day when a man shall flee from his brother and his mother and his father" became the object of his immediate experience; (and he saw that) the kingdom of this earth-heap of the childish (is like the game) called "castle-taking," (in which) the child that gains the victory mounts upon the earth-heap and says boastfully, "The castle belongs to me," while the other children envy him; for (to play with) earth is the pastime of boys. When the prince was delivered from the bondage of colours, he said, "I say that these coloured pieces of earth (earthly gauds) are just the same vile earth; I do not call them gold and satin and brocade: I have been delivered from this brocade (aksún) and have gone to that which is simple (yaksún)." (God hath said), "And We bestowed wisdom upon him whilst he was yet a boy"; it needeth not the passing of (many) years for (any one to receive) the guidance of God: none speaks of the capacity to receive in (connexion with) the Power of Be, and it is.
How the king brought his son a bride for fear of his race coming to an end.
How the king chose the daughter of a poor ascetic for his son and how the ladies of the harem raised objections and disdained the (proposed) alliance with the dervish.
How the king's prayer for the deliverance of his son from the witch of Kábul was granted.
Explaining that the prince is Man, the vicegerent of God, and that his father is Adam, the chosen one, the vicegerent of God, he to whom the angels bowed in worship; and that the old hag of Kábul is the World which separated Man from his Father by sorcery, while the prophets and saints are (like) the physician who applied the remedy.
Story of the ascetic who, notwithstanding his destitution and numerous family, was rejoicing and laughing in a year of drought whilst the people were dying of hunger. They said to him, "What is the occasion for joy? It is an occasion for a hundred mournings." "For me at any rate ’tis not (so)," he replied.
Explaining that the whole world is the form of Universal Reason, (and that) when by trespassing you act unjustly towards Universal Reason, in most cases the aspect of the world increases your vexation, just as when you show ill-feeling to your father the aspect of your father increases your vexation and you cannot (bear to) look on his face, though before that he will have been the light of your eye and the comfort of your soul.
Story of the sons of ‘Uzayr, on whom be peace, who were making inquiries about their father from (one who really was) their father. "Yes," he replied, "I have seen him: he is coming." Some (of them) recognised him and became unconscious, (while) others did not recognise him and said, "He has only announced (our father's coming): what is this unconsciousness?"
Commentary on the Tradition, "Verily, I ask pardon of God seventy times every day."
Explaining that the particular (discursive) intellect does not see beyond the grave and, as regards all the rest, is subject to the authority of the saints and prophets.
Explaining (the Verse), "O ye that believe, do not put (yourselves) forward in the presence of God and His Apostle." Since thou art not the Prophet, be one of the religious community; since thou art not the sovereign, be a subject.
Story of the mule's complaining to the camel (and saying), "I often fall on my face when going along, while you seldom do so: why is this?" and the camel's answer to him.
How the mule declared the replies of the camel to be true and acknowledged his (the camel's) superiority to himself and besought his aid and took refuge with him sincerely; and how the camel treated him with kindness and showed him the way and gave help in fatherly and kingly fashion.
How the Egyptian entreated the Israelite, saying, "Of thine own intention fill a jug from the Nile and put it to my lips, that I may drink. (I beseech thee) by the right of friendship and brotherhood; for the jug which ye Israelites fill from the Nile for yourselves is pure water, while the jug which we Egyptians fill is pure blood."
How the Egyptian besought blessing and guidance from the Israelite, and how the Israelite prayed for the Egyptian and received a favourable answer to his prayer from the Most Gracious and Merciful (God).
Story of the lewd woman who said to her husband, "Those illusions appear to thee from the top of the pear-tree, for the top of that pear-tree causes the human eye to see such things: come down from the top of the pear-tree, that those illusions may vanish." And if any one should say that what that man saw was not an illusion, the answer is that this (story) is a parable, not a (precise) similitude. In the (story regarded as a) parable this amount (of resemblance) is sufficient, for if he had not gone to the top of the peartree, he would never have seen those things, whether illusory or real.
The remainder of the story of Moses, on whom be peace.
The diverse modes and stages of the nature of Man from the beginning.
Explaining that the people of Hell are hungry and make lamentable entreaty to God, saying, "Cause our portions to be fat and let the provender reach us quickly, for we can endure no more."
How Dhu ’l-Qarnayn went to Mount Qáf and made petition, saying, "O Mount Qáf, tell me of the majesty of the Attributes of God"; and how Mount Qáf said that the description of His majesty is ineffable, since (all) perceptions vanish before it; and how Dhu ’l-Qarnayn made humble supplication, saying, "Tell of His works that thou hast in mind and of which it is more easy for thee to speak."
An ant, walking on a piece of paper, saw the pen writing and began to praise the pen. Another ant, which was more keen-sighted, said, "Praise the fingers, for I deem this accomplishment to proceed from them." Another ant, more clear-sighted than either, said, "I praise the arm, for the fingers are a branch of the arm," et cetera.
How Gabriel, on whom be peace, showed himself to Mustafá (Mohammed), God bless and save him, in his own shape; and how, when one of his seven hundred wings became visible, it covered the horizon (on all sides), and the sun with all its radiance was veiled over.