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(Masnavi Book 1: 09) The Wind which destroyed the people of ‘Ad





The story of the wind which destroyed the people of ‘Ád in the time of (the prophet) Húd, on whom be peace.
Húd drew a line round the believers: the wind would become soft (subside) when it reached that place,

855. (Although) it was dashing to pieces in the air all who were outside of the line.
Likewise Shaybán the shepherd used to draw a visible line round his flock
Whenever he went to the Friday service at prayer-time, in order that the wolf might not raid and ravage there:
No wolf would go into that (circle), nor would any sheep stray beyond that mark;
The wind of the wolf's and sheeps' concupiscence was barred because of (by) the circle of the man of God.

860. Even so, to those who know God (‘árifán) the wind of Death is soft and pleasant as the breeze (that wafts the scent) of (loved) ones like Joseph.
The fire did not set its teeth in Abraham: how should it bite him, since he is the chosen of God?
The religious were not afflicted by the fire of lust which bore all the rest down to the bottom of the earth.
The waves of the sea, when they charged on by God's command, discriminated the people of Moses from the Egyptians.
The earth, when the (Divine) command came, drew Qárún (Korah) with his gold and throne into its lowest depth.

865. The water and clay, when it fed on the breath of Jesus, spread wings and pinions, became a bird, and flew.
Your glorification (of God) is an exhalation from the water and clay (of your body): it became a bird of Paradise through the breathing (into it) of your heart's sincerity.
Mount Mount Sinai, from (seeing) the radiance of Moses, began to dance, became a perfect Súfí, and was freed from blemish.
What wonder if the mountain became a venerable Súfí? The body of Moses also was (formed) from a piece of clay.
How the Jewish king scoffed and denied and would not accept the counsel of his intimates.
The king of the Jews beheld these marvellous things, (but) he had naught (to say) except mockery and denial.

870. His counsellors said, “Do not let (this injustice) go beyond bounds, do not drive the steed of obstinacy so far.”
He handcuffed the counsellors and confined them, he committed one injustice after another.
When the matter reached this pass, a shout came—“Hold thy foot (stop), O cur! For Our vengeance is come.”
After that, the fire blazed up forty ells high, became a ring, and consumed those Jews.
From fire was their origin in the beginning: they went (back) to their origin in the end.

875. That company were born of fire: the way of particulars is towards the universal.
They were only a fire to consume the true believers: their fire consumed itself like rubbish.
He whose mother is Háwiya (Hell-fire)—Háwiya shall become his cell (abode).
The mother of the child is (always) seeking it: the fundamentals pursue the derivatives.
If water is imprisoned in a tank, the wind sucks it up, for it (the wind) belongs to the original (source):

880. It sets it free, it wafts it away to its source, little by little, so that you do not see its wafting;
And our souls likewise this breath (of ours) steals away, little by little, from the prison of the world.
The perfumes of our (good) words ascend even unto Him, ascending from us whither God knoweth.
Our breaths soar up with the choice (words), as a gift from us, to the abode of everlastingness;
Then comes to us the recompense of our speech, a double (recompense) thereof, as a mercy from (God) the Glorious;

885. Then He causes us to repair to (makes us utter) good words like those (already uttered), that His servant may obtain (something more) of what he has obtained.
Thus do they (our good words) ascend while it (the Divine mercy) descends continually: mayst thou never cease to keep up that (ascent and descent)!
Let us speak Persian: the meaning is that this attraction (by which God draws the soul towards Himself) comes from the same
quarter whence came that savour (spiritual delight experienced in and after prayer).
The eyes of every set of people remain (turned) in the direction where one day they satisfied a (longing for) delight.
The delight of (every) kind is certainly in its own kind (congener): the delight of the part, observe, is in its whole;

890. Or else, that (part) is surely capable of (attachment to) a (different) kind and, when it has attached itself thereto,
becomes homogeneous with it,
As (for instance) water and bread, which were not our congeners, became homogeneous with us and increased within us (added to our bulk and strength).
Water and bread have not the appearance of being our congeners, (but) from consideration of the end (final result) deem them to be homogeneous (with us).
And if our delight is (derived) from something not homogeneous, that (thing) will surely resemble the congener.
That which (only) bears a resemblance is a loan: a loan is impermanent in the end.

895. Although the bird is delighted by (the fowler's) whistle, it takes fright when it (sees him and) does not find its own congener.
Although the thirsty man is delighted by the mirage, he runs away when he comes up to it, and seeks for water.
Although the insolvent are pleased with base gold, yet that (gold) is put to shame in the mint.
(Take heed) lest gildedness (imposture) cast you out of the (right) way, lest false imagination cast you into the well.
Seek the story (illustrating this) from (the book of) Kalíla (and Dimna), and search out the moral (contained) in the story.

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