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(Masnavi Book 2: 30) The gardener who separated three friends in order to chastise them singly








How the gardener isolated the Súfí, the jurist, and the descendant of ‘Alí from one another.


A gardener, when he looked into the orchard, saw three men in his orchard, as (though they were) thieves: A jurist and a Sharíf and a Súfí: each one an impudent, knavish and perfidious rogue.
He said, “I have a hundred arguments against these fellows, but they are united, and a united party is (a source of) strength.


2170. I cannot cope singly with three persons, so first I will sunder them from one another. I will isolate each one from the others, and when each is alone, I will tear out his moustache.”
He employed a ruse and got the Súfí away, that he might poison (the minds of) his friends against him. He said to the Súfí, “Go to the house and fetch a rug for these companions (of yours).
(As soon as) the Súfí departed, he (the gardener) said in private to the two friends, “You art a jurist, and this (other) is a renowned Sharíf.


2175. It is according to your legal decision that we eat a loaf (of bread): It is by the wings of your knowledge that we fly. And this other is our prince and sovereign: he is a Sayyid, he is of the House of Mustafá (Mohammed).
Who is this gluttonous vile Súfí, that he should associate with kings like you?

When he comes (back), drive him away and take possession of my orchard and field for a week.

What is (it to offer you) my orchard? My life is yours, O ye who have (always) been (as dear to me) as my right eye.”


2180. He made evil suggestions and beguiled them. Ah, one must not patiently suffer the loss of friends. When they had turned the Súfí away and he was gone, the enemy went after him with a stout cudgel.
O dog,” he cried, “is it Súfism that of a sudden you come into my orchard in spite (of me)?
Did Junayd or Báyazíd direct you to behave in this way? From what Shaykh and Pír did this (instruction) reach you?” He beat the Súfí when he found him alone; he half killed him and cracked his head.


2185. Said the Súfí, “Mine is over, but O comrades, take good care of yourselves! Ye regarded me as an alien. Look out! I am not more alien than this scoundrel.
That (cup) which I have drunk must be drunk by you, and such a draught as this is the due of every cad.” This world is (like) the mountain, and (all) your words come back to you from the echo.
After the gardener had finished with the Súfí, he invented a pretext of the same kind as the former,


2190. Saying, “O my Sharíf, go to the house, for I have baked (some) thin cakes of bread for breakfast. At the house-door tell Qaymáz to fetch those cakes and the goose.
Having sent him off, he said (to the other), “O keen-sighted one, you art a jurist; this is manifest and sure.
(But) he (thy friend) a Sharíf! It is an absurd claim he is making. Who knows who committed adultery with his mother? Will ye set your hearts (rely) on woman and the deeds of woman? (Will ye acknowledge her to be of) weak mind, and then
(put) trust (in her)?

2195. He has tacked himself on to ‘Alí and to the Prophet—and there is many a fool in the world (who will believe him).” Whoever is (born) of adultery and (is one) of the adulterous will think this concerning the men of God.
Any one whose head is made giddy by (his own) gyrations sees the house turning round like himself.

What that vain talker, the gardener, said was (indicative of) his (own) condition; (it was) far from (being applicable to) the descendants of the Prophet.

If he had not been the issue of apostates, how should he have spoken thus as regards (the Prophet's) House?


2200. He used spells (guileful words), and the jurist hearkened to them. (Then) that insolent bully went after him (the
Sharíf).

He said, “O ass, who invited you into this orchard? Has robbery been left to you as an inheritance by the Prophet? The lion's cub resembles him (the lion): in what do you resemble the Prophet? Tell (me that)!”
The man (the gardener) who had sought refuge (in craft) did to the Sharíf that which a Khárijite would do to the Family of Yá- sín (Mohammed).

(I marvel) what hatred devils and ghouls like Yazíd and Shimr always have towards the Prophet's Family.


2205. The Sharíf was devastated by the blows of that ruffian. He said to the jurist, I have jumped out of the water. Do you stand fast, now that you art left alone and deprived (of our support). Be as a drum, suffer blows on the belly!
If I am not a Sharíf and worthy (of you) and a (true) bosom-friend, (at any rate) I am no worse for you than such a ruffian as this.”

He (the gardener) finished with him (the Sharíf), and came up, saying, “O jurist, what (sort of) jurist are you, O you disgrace to every fool?

Is it your legal opinion, O convicted thief, that you may come (into my orchard) without asking leave?


2210. Have you read such a license in the Wasít, or has this question been (so decided) in the Muhít?

You are right,” he replied; “beat (me): you have got the upper hand. This is the fit penalty for him that parts from friends.”

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