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(Masnavi Book 2: 28) The cause of a bird’s flying and feeding with a bird that is not of its own kind






The cause of a bird's flying and feeding with a bird that is not of its own kind.



Said a certain sage, “I saw a crow running about with a stork.

I marvelled long, and I investigated their case, in order that I might find the clue (as to) what it was that they had in common.


2105. When, amazed and bewildered, I approached them, (then) indeed I saw that both of them were lame.”

In particular, (how should) a royal falcon, which is of the highest heaven, (consort) with an owl, which is of the low earth? That one is the sun of ‘Illiyyún, while the other is a bat which belongs to Sijjín.
That one is a luminary, free from every defect, while this (other) one is a blind man begging at every door.

That one is a moon that strikes (its beams) upon the Pleiades, while this (other) one is a worm that cleaves to dung.


2110. That one has the face of a Joseph, the breath of a Jesus, while this (other) one is a wolf or an ass with a bell. That one has flown to Spacelessness, while this (other) one is in the straw-barn, like the dogs.
With the tongue of (unspoken) meaning the rose is saying to the beetle this—“O stinking (creature),
If you art fleeing from the rose-bed, doubtless that aversion (shown by you) is (a sign of) the perfection of the rose-garden. My jealousy (sense of dignity) smites you on the head with a baton, (warning you to) keep far away from here, O vile one;


2115. For if, base wretch, you shouldst mix with me, it will be thought that you art of my stock. For nightingales the garden is the proper place; for the beetle the best home is in ordure.”
Since God has kept me pure from filth, how were it seemly to appoint a foul one for (companionship with) me?

I had (in me) a vein of them (of their nature). He (God) cut it out: how (then) will he with the vein of evil attain unto me?

One mark of Adam from eternity was this, that the angels should lay their heads (on the ground) before him, because it was his place (proper to his dignity).


2120. Another mark was that Iblís, saying, I am the king and chief,” should not lay down his head before him.

But if Iblís too had become a worshipper (of Adam), he (Adam) would not have been Adam: he would have been another.

At once the worship of every angel is the test of him, and the denial (of him) by that enemy (Iblís) is the proof of him.

At once the acknowledgment (made) by the angels is witness for him, and the disbelief of that petty cur (Iblís) is witness for him.

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