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(Masnavi Book 1: 43) What is meat to the saint is poison to the disciple




Concerning the impropriety of the disciple's (muríd) presuming to do the same things as are done by the saint (walí), inasmuch as sweetmeat does no harm to the physician, but is harmful to the sick, and frost and snow do no harm to the ripe grape, but are injurious to the young fruit; for he (the disciple) is (still) on the way, for he has not (yet) become (the saint to whom are applicable the words in the Qur’án): “That God may forgive you your former and latter sins.”



If the saint drinks a poison it becomes an antidote, but if the seeker (disciple) drinks it, his mind is darkened.

From Solomon have come the words, O Lord, give me (a kingdom that it behoves not any one after me to obtain),” that is, “do not give this kingdom and power to any but me.


2605. Do not bestow this grace and bounty on any but me.” This looks like envy, but it was not that (in reality).

Read with your soul the mystery of it behoves not,” do not deem the inward meaning of after me (to be derived) from his
(Solomon's) avarice.

Nay, but in sovereignty he saw a hundred dangers: the kingdom of this world was (has ever been), hair by hair (in every respect), fear for one's head.

Fear for head with fear for heart with fear for religion— there is no trial for us like this.

Therefore one must needs possess the high aspiration of a Solomon in order to escape from these myriads of colours and perfumes (enticing vanities).


2610. Even with such (great) strength (of spirit) as he had, the waves of that (worldly) kingdom were stifling his breath (choking him).

Since dust settled on him from this sorrow, he had compassion for all the kings of the world.

Hence he interceded (with God on their behalf) and said, “Give this kingdom (to them) with (accompanied by) the (spiritual) perfection which you have given to me.

To whomsoever you wilt give (it), and (on whomsoever) you wilt confer that bounty, he (that person) is Solomon, and I also am he.

He is not ‘after me,’ he is with me. What of ‘with me,’ indeed? I am without rival.”


2615. It is my duty to explain this, but (now) I will return to the story of the man and wife.

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