• Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 39

    The son of a faqih said to his father: ‘These heart-ravishing words of moralists make no impression upon me because I do not see that their actions are in conformity with their speeches.’

    They teach people to abandon the world
    But themselves accumulate silver and corn.... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 40

    A man was sleeping dead-drunk on the highway and the bridle of spontaneity had slipped from his hands. A hermit passed near him and considered the disgraceful condition he was in. The youth raised his head and recited: When they passed near something contemptible, they passed it kindly. When thou beholdest a sinner be concealing and meek.

    Turn not thy face from a sinner, O anchorite.
    Look upon him with benignity.... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 41

    A company of vagabonds met a dervish, spoke insulting words to him, struck him and otherwise molested him; whereon he complained to his superior and explained the case. The pir replied: ‘My son, the patched frock of dervishes is the garment of resignation and who, wearing it, cannot bear injuries is a pretender not entitled to the frock.’

    A large river will not become turbid from stones.
    The Arif who feels aggrieved is shallow water yet.... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 42

    Listen to this story how in Baghdad
    A flag and a curtain fell into dispute.
    Travel stained, dusty and fatigued, the flag
    Said to the curtain by way of reproach:... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 43

    A pious man saw an acrobat in great dudgeon, full of wrath and foaming at the mouth. He asked: ‘What is the matter with this fellow?’ A bystander said: ‘Someone has insulted him.’ He remarked: ‘This base wretch is able to lift a thousand mann of stones and has not the power to bear one word.’

    Abandon thy claim to strength and manliness.
    Thou art weak-minded and base, whether thou be a man or woman.... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 44

    I asked a good man concerning the qualities of the brethren of purity. He replied: ‘The least of them is that they prefer to please their friends rather than themselves; and philosophers have said that a brother who is fettered by affairs relating to himself is neither a brother nor a relative.’

    If thy fellow traveller hastens, he is not thy fellow.
    Tie not thy heart to one whose heart is not tied to thine.... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 45

    A kind old man in Baghdad
    Gave his daughter to a cobbler.
    The cruel little man so bit her
    That blood flowed from the daughter’s lips.... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 46

    A faqih had a very ugly daughter and when she attained puberty no one was inclined to marry her in spite of her dowry and wealth.

    Bad is the brocade and damask cloth
    Which is upon an ugly bride.... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 47

    A padshah was casting a glanced of contempt upon a company of dervishes and one of them, understanding by his sagacity the meaning of it, said: ‘O king, in this world we are inferior to thee in dignity but more happy in life. In death we are equal and in the resurrection superior to thee.’

    Though the master of a country may have enjoyment
    And the dervish may be in need of bread... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 48

    I saw bouquets of fresh roses
    Tied upon a cupola of grass.
    I asked: ‘What is despicable grass
    To sit also in the line of the roses?’... more »

  • Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 49

    A sage having been asked whether liberality or bravery is better replied: ‘He who possesses liberality needs no bravery.’

    It is written on the tomb of Behram Gur:
    ‘A liberal hand is better than a strong arm.’... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 01

    A Maghrabi supplicant said in Aleppo in the row of linen-drapers: ‘Lords of wealth, if you were just and we contented, the trade of begging would vanish from the world.’

    O contentment, make me rich
    For besides thee no other wealth exists.... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 02

    Two sons of amirs were in Egypt, the one acquiring science, the other accumulating wealth, till the former became the ullemma of the period and the other the prince of Egypt; whereon the rich man looked with contempt upon the faqih and said: ‘I have reached the sultanate whilst thou hast remained in poverty as before.’ He replied: ‘O brother, I am bound to be grateful to the most high Creator for having obtained the inheritance of prophets whilst thou hast attained the inheritance of Pharaoh and of Haman, namely the kingdom of Egypt.’

    I am that ant which is trodden under foot
    Not that wasp, the pain of whose sting causes lament.... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 03

    I heard that a dervish, burning in the fire of poverty and sewing patch upon patch, said to comfort his mind:

    ‘We are contented with dry bread and a patched robe
    For it is easier to bear the load of one’s own trouble... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 04

    One of the kings of Persia had sent an able physician to wait upon the Mustafa, the benediction of Allah and peace be on him; and he remained for some years in the Arab country without anyone coming to him to make a trial of his ability or desiring to be treated by him. He went to the Prophet, salutation to him, and complained that although he had been sent to treat the companions, none of them had up to this time taken notice of him or required the services incumbent upon him. The Apostle, salutation to him, replied: ‘It is a law with these people not to eat until appetite overpowers them and when some of it yet remains they withdraw their hands from food.’ The doctor said: ‘This is the cause of health’, and kissing the earth of service departed.

    The sage begins to speak
    Or points his fingers to the dish... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 05

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  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 06

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  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 07

    Two Khorasani dervishes travelled together. One of them, being weak, broke his fast every second night whilst the other who was strong consumed every day three meals. It happened that they were captured at the gate of a town on suspicion of being spies; whereon each of them was confined in a closet and the aperture of it walled up with mud bricks. After two weeks it became known that they were guiltless. Accordingly the doors were opened and the strong man was found to be dead whilst the weak fellow had remained alive. The people were astonished but a sage averred that the contrary would have been astonishing because one of them having been voracious possessed no strength to suffer hunger and perished whilst the other who was abstemious merely persevered in his habit and remained safe.

    When eating little has become the nature of a man
    He takes it easy when a calamity befalls him... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 08

    One of the philosophers forbade his son to eat much because repletion keeps people ailing. The boy replied: ‘O father, it is hunger that kills. Hast thou not heard of the maxim of the ingenious that it is better to die satiated than to bear hunger?’ He rejoined: ‘Be moderate. Eat and drink but not to excess.’

    Eat not so much that it comes up to thy mouth
    Nor so little that from weakness thy soul comes up.... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 09

    ... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 10

    A grain dealer to whom Sufis were owing some money asked them for it every day in the town of Waset and used harsh language towards them. The companions had become weary of his reproaches but had no other remedy than to bear them; and one of them who was a pious man remarked: ‘It is more easy to pacify a hungry stomach with promises of food than a grain dealer with promises of money.’

    It is preferable to be without the bounty of a gentleman
    Than to bear the insults of the gate-keepers.... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 11

    A brave warrior who had received a dreadful wound in the Tatar war was informed that a certain merchant possessed a medicine which he would probably not refuse to give if asked for; but it is related that the said merchant was also well known for his avarice.

    If instead of bread he had the sun in his table-cloth
    No one could see daylight till the day of resurrection.... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 12

    One of the ullemma had many eaters to provide for and only a slender income. This fact he communicated to a great man of whose character he entertained a very favourable opinion but his expectations were disappointed because the man made a wry face and averred that according to his opinion applications from respectable persons for aid are unbecoming.

    With a face made sad by misfortune, to a dear friend
    Do not go because thou wilt embitter his life also.... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 13

    A dervish wanted something and a man told him that a certain individual possessed untold wealth who, if he were made aware of his want, would not consider it proper to fail in supplying it forthwith. The dervish answering that he had no acquaintance with him, the man proposed to show him the house and when the dervish entered he caught sight of a person with hanging lips and sitting morosely. He returned immediately and being asked what he had done replied: ‘I excused him from making me a present when I saw his face.’

    Carry not thy necessity to a sour-faced fellow
    Because his ill-humour will crush thy hopes.... more »

  • Ch 03 On The Excellence Of Contentment Story 14

    A year of dearth set in at Alexandria so that even a dervish lost the reins of patience from his hands, the pearls of heaven were withheld from the earth and the lamentations of mankind ascended to the firmament.

    There was no wild beast, fowl, fish or ant
    Whose wailings prompted by distress had not reached the sky.... more »