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(Masnavi Book 1: 66) The conflagration in Medina in the days of the Caliph Umar ؓ



How a conflagration occurred in the city (Medina) in the days of ‘Umar, may God be well-pleased with him.


A conflagration occurred in the time of ‘Umar: it was devouring stones as though they were dry wood. It fell upon buildings and houses, until (at last) it darted at the wings and nests of birds.
Half the city caught fire from the flames: water was afraid of it (the fire) and amazed.


3710. Some intelligent persons were throwing skins of water and vinegar on the fire,

(But) out of spite (obstinacy) the fire was increasing: aid was coming to it from One who is infinite. The people came in hase to ‘Umar, saying, “Our fire will not be quenched at all by water.”
He said, “That fire is one of God's signs: It is a flame from the fire of your wickedness.

Discard water and deal out bread (in charity), discard avarice if ye are my people (followers).”


3715. The folk said to him, “We have opened our doors, we have been bountiful and devoted to generosity.” He replied, “Ye have given bread by rule and habit, ye have not opened your hands for the sake of God— (Only) for glory and for ostentation and for pride, not because of fear and piety and supplication.”
Wealth is seed, and do not lay it in every salty ground: do not put a sword in the hand of every highwayman.

Distinguish the friends of the Religion (ahl-i Dín) from the enemies of God (ahl-i kín): seek the man that sits with God, and sit with him.


3720. Every one shows favour to his own folk: the fool (who shows favour to the foolish) thinks he has really done (good and religious) work.

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