How the wife counselled her husband, saying, “Don't talk any more about thy merit and (spiritual) rank—‘why say ye that which ye do not?’—for although these words are true, yet thou hast not attained to the degree of trust in God, and to speak thus above thy station and devotional practice is harmful and ‘exceedingly hateful in the sight of God.’”
2315. The wife cried out at him, saying, “O thou who makest reputation thy religion, I will not swallow thy spells (deceiving speeches) any more.
Don't talk nonsense in thy presumption and pretension: begone, don't speak from pride and arrogance.
How long (wilt thou utter) pompous and artificial phrases? Look at thine own acts and feelings and be ashamed!
Pride is ugly, and in beggars (all the) more ugly: (it is like) wet clothes after a cold snowy day.
How long (this) pretension and palaver and bluster, O thou whose house is (frail) as the house of the spider?
2320. When hast thou illumined thy soul by contentment? Of contentment thou hast learned (only) the name.
The Prophet said, ‘What is contentment? A treasure.’ Thou canst not distinguish the gain from the pain.
This contentment is the soul's treasure: do not thou boast (of possessing it), O (thou who art) grief and pain to my soul.
Don't call me thy mate, don't flap so much. I am the mate of justice, I am not the mate of fraud.
How art thou walking (consorting) with amír and bey, when thou art slitting the veins of (killing for food) the locust in the air?
2325. Thou art contending with dogs for the sake of a bone, thou art wailing like an empty-bellied reed-pipe.
Don't look at me dully (coldly) with contempt, lest I tell (others) what is in thy veins (disclose thy hidden faults).
Thou hast deemed thy understanding superior to mine, (but) how hast thou (truly) seen me, who am deficient in understanding?
Don't spring upon me like a reckless wolf! Oh, better be without understanding (mad) than (suffer) the disgrace of (having) thy understanding.
Since thy understanding is a shackle for mankind, it is not understanding: it is a snake and scorpion.
2330. May God be the enemy of thy iniquity and deceit! May the deceitfulness of thy understanding fall short of (fail to injure) us!
Thou art both the snake and the charmer—oh, wonderful! Thou art (both) the snakecatcher and the snake, O thou disgrace to the Arabs!
If the crow knew its ugliness, from grief and sorrow it would melt like snow.
The charmer chants (a spell) as an enemy (does); he is (casting) a spell upon the snake and the snake is (casting) a spell upon him.
If his trap were not (devised by him as) a spell for the snake (a means of catching it), how would he become a prey to the snake's spell?
2335. The charmer, from greed and (desire of) getting and making (money), is not conscious of the snake's spell at the time.
The snake says, ‘O charmer, beware, beware! Thou hast beheld thine own spell (and its effect upon me): now behold mine!
Thou beguilest me with the Name of God in order that thou mayst expose me to shame and confusion.
The Name of God enthralled me, not thy contrivance: thou madest the Name of God a trap: woe to thee!
The Name of God will take vengeance from thee on my behalf: I commit my soul and body to the Name of God.
2340. Either it will sever the vein of thy life by my stroke, or it will bring thee into a prison as (it has brought) me.’”
Rough speeches of this sort, (whole) volumes, the woman recited to her youthful husband.
How the man counselled his wife, saying, “Do not look with contempt on the poor, but regard the work of God as perfect,
and do not let thy vain thought and opinion of thine own penury cause thee to sneer at poverty and revile the poor.”
“O woman,” said he, “art thou a woman or the father of sorrow? Poverty is (my) pride, and do not thou beat me on the head (lash me with thy reproaches).
Wealth and gold are as a cap to the head: ’tis the bald man that makes a shelter of his cap,
(But) he that has curly and beautiful locks is happier when his cap is gone.
2345. The man of God (the saint) resembles the eye: therefore (his) sight is better bare (unveiled) than covered.
When a slave-dealer offers (slaves) for sale, he removes from the (sound) slave the garment that hides defects.
But if there be any defect, how should he strip (the slave)? Nay, he tricks him (the purchaser) by means of the garment.
‘This one,’ says he, ‘is ashamed of good and evil: stripping him would cause him to run away from thee.’
The (rich) merchant is plunged in vice up to the ears, (but) the merchant has money, and his money covers his vice,
2350. For because of cupidity none that is covetous sees his vice: feelings of cupidity are a bond uniting (men's) hearts;
And if a beggar speak a word like the (pure) gold of the mine, his wares will not find the way to the shop.
The affair of (spiritual) poverty is beyond thy apprehension: do not look on poverty with contempt,
Because dervishes are beyond property and wealth: they possess an abundant portion from the Almighty.
The High God is just, and how should the just behave tyrannously to the dispirited (poor and weak)?
2355. (How should they) give fortune and goods to that one, while they put this one on the fire?
The fire burns him because he hath this (evil) thought about the Lord who created both worlds.
Is (the saying) ‘Poverty is my pride’ vain and false? No; ’tis thousands of hidden glories and disdains.
Thou in anger hast poured nicknames on me: thou hast called me a catcher (deceiver) of friends and a catcher of snakes.
If I catch the snake, I extract its fangs in order that I may save it from having its head crushed.
2360. Because those fangs are an enemy to its life, I am making the enemy a friend by means of this skill.
Never do I chant my spell from (motives of) cupidity: I have turned this cupidity upside down (I have entirely vanquished it).
God forbid! I desire nothing from created beings: through contentment there is a (whole) world within my heart.
Thou, (sitting) on the top of the pear-tree, seest (things) like that: come down from it, that the (evil) thought may not continue.
When thou turnest round and round and becomest giddy, thou seest the house turning round, and ’tis thou (thyself) art that (revolving object).