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(Masnavi Book 1: 08) The punishment inflicted on a man who scoffed at Muhammad






How the mouth remained awry of a man who pronounced the name of Mohammed, on whom be peace, derisively.
He made his mouth wry and called the name of Ahmad (Mohammed) in derision: his mouth remained awry.
He came back, saying, “Pardon me, O Mohammed, O thou to whom belong the (Divine) gifts of esoteric knowledge.
In my folly I was ridiculing thee, (but) I myself was related to ridicule and deserving it.”

815. When God wishes to rend the veil of any one (expose him to shame), He turns his inclination towards reviling holy men.
When God wishes to hide the blame of any one, he (that person) does not breathe a word of blame against the blameworthy.
When God wishes to help us, He turns our inclination towards humble lament.
Oh, happy the eye that is weeping for His sake! Oh, fortunate the heart that is seared for His sake!
The end of every weeping is laughter at last; the man who foresees the end is a blessed servant (of God).

820. Wherever is flowing water, there is greenery: wherever are running tears, (the Divine) mercy is shown.
Be moaning and moist-eyed like the water-wheel, that green herbs may spring up from the courtyard of your soul.
If you desire tears, have mercy on one who sheds tears; if you desire mercy, show mercy to the weak.
How the fire reproached the Jewish king.
The king turned his face to the fire, saying, “O fierce-tempered one, where is thy world-consuming natural disposition?
How art thou not burning? What has become of thy specific property? Or has thy intention changed because of our fortune?

825. Thou hast no pity (even) on the fire-worshipper: how (then) has he been saved who does not worship thee?
Never, O fire, art thou patient: how burnest thou not? What is it? Hast thou not the power?
Is this a spell, I wonder, that binds the eye or the mind? How does the lofty pyre not burn?
Has some one bewitched thee? Or is it magic, or is thy unnatural behaviour from our fortune?”
The fire said: “I am the same, I am fire: come in, that thou mayst feel my heat.

830. My nature and element have not changed: I am the sword of God and by (His) leave I cut.
The Turcoman dogs fawn at the tent-door before the guest,
But if any one having the face of a stranger pass by the tent, he will see the dogs rushing at him like lions.
I am not less than a dog in devotion, nor is God less than a Turcoman in life (living power).”
If the fire of your nature make you suffer pain, it burns by command of the Lord of religion;

835. If the fire of your nature give you joy, (that is because) the Lord of religion puts joy therein.
When you feel pain, ask pardon of God: pain, by command of the Creator, is efficacious.
When He pleases, pain itself becomes joy; bondage itself becomes freedom.
Air and earth and water and fire are (His) slaves: with you and me they are dead, but with God they are alive.
Before God, fire is always standing (ready to do His behest), writhing continually day and night, like a lover.

840. If you strike stone on iron, it (the fire) leaps out: ’tis by God's command that it puts forth its foot.
Do not strike together the iron and stone of injustice, for these two generate like man and woman.
The stone and the iron are indeed causes, but look higher, O good man!
For this (external) cause was produced by that (spiritual) cause: when did a cause ever proceed from itself without a cause?
And those causes which guide the prophets on their way are higher than these (external) causes.

845. That (spiritual) cause makes this (external) cause operative; sometimes, again, it makes it fruitless and ineffectual.
(Ordinary) minds are familiar with this (external) cause, but the prophets are familiar with those (spiritual) causes.
What is (the meaning of) this (word) “cause” (sabab) in Arabic? Say: “cord” (rasan).
This cord came into this well (the world) by (Divine) artifice.
The revolution of the water-wheel causes the cord (to move), (but) not to see the mover of the water-wheel is an error.
Beware, beware! Do not regard these cords of causation in the world as (deriving their movement) from the giddy wheel (of heaven),

850. Lest you remain empty and giddy like the (celestial) wheel, lest through brainlessness you burn like markh wood.
By the command of God air becomes fire: both are drunken with the wine of God.
O son, when you open your eyes you will see that from God too are the water of clemency and the fire of anger.
Had not the soul of the wind been informed by God, how would it have distinguished (the believers and unbelievers) amongst the people of ‘Ád?

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