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(Masnavi Book 2: 37) Iblís and Muawiya ؓ















How Iblís awakened Mu‘áwiyamay God be well-pleased with him!—saying, “Arise, it is time for prayer.”


It is related in Tradition that Mu‘áwiya was asleep in a nook of the palace.


2605. The palace-door was fastened from the inside, for he was fatigued by people's visits. Suddenly he was awakened by a man, (but) when he opened his eyes the man vanished.
He said (to himself), “No one had entrance to the palace: who is he that has shown such impudence and boldness?” Then he went round and searched in order to find the trace of that one who had become hidden (from sight).
Behind the door he espied a luckless man who was hiding his face in the door and the curtain.


2610. “Hey, he cried, “who are you? What is your name?” “(To speak) plainly, said he, “my name is Iblís the damned.”

He (Mu‘áwiya) asked, “Why did you take pains to awaken me? Tell the truth, don't tell me what is reverse and contrary (to the fact).”



How Iblís gave Mu‘áwiya, may God be well-pleased with him, a fall, and practiced dissimulation and pretence, and how
Mu‘áwiya answered him.



He said, “The time for prayer is (all but) come to an end: you must run quickly to the mosque.
Mustafá (Mohammed) said, boring the pearl of the idea, ‘Make hase to perform your devotions before the time is past.’” He (Mu‘áwiya) said, “Nay, nay; It is not your purpose to be my guide unto any good.

2615. (If) a thief come secretly into my dwelling-place and say to me, ‘I am keeping watch,’

How shall I believe that thief? How should a thief know the recompense and reward for good works?”

How Iblís again made answer to Mu‘áwiya.



He said, “At first I was an angel: I traversed the way of obedience (to God) with (all my) soul.
I was the confidant of them that follow the path (of devotion): I was familiar with them that dwell by the Throne of God. How should (one's) first calling go out of (one's) mind? How should (one's) first love go forth from (one's) heart?



2620. If in travel you see Anatolia or Khutan, how should love of your own country go from your heart? I too have been one of those drunken with this wine: I have been a lover at His court.
They cut my navel in (predestined me from birth to) love of Him: they sowed love of Him in my heart.
I have seen good days from Fortune: I have drunk the water of (Divine) Mercy in (my) spring-time. Was it not the hand of His bounty that sowed me? Was it not He that raised me up from non-existence?


2625. Oh, many is the time I have received kindness from Him and walked in the rose-garden of (His) approval. He would lay the hand of mercy on my head, He would open (let flow) from me the fountains of grace.
Who found milk for me in the season of my infancy? Who rocked my cradle? He.

From whom did I drink milk other than His milk? Who nourished me except His providence?

The disposition which has entered with the milk into (their) being—how can it be discharged (expelled) from folk?



2630. If the Sea of Bounty has given (me) a rebuke, (yet) how have the doors of Bounty been shut?

Giving and grace and favour are the fundamental substance of His coin: wrath is (only) as a speck of alloy on it. He made the world for kindness' sake: His sun caressed the motes (in its beams).
If separation (from Him) is big with His wrath, It is for the sake of knowing the worth of union with Him,

So that separation from Him may give the soul chastisement, (and that) the soul may know the value of the days of union.


2635. The Prophet has declared that God said, ‘My purpose in creating was to do good:

I created to the intent that they (My creatures) might draw some gain from Me, and that they might smear their hands with My honey;
Not to the end that I might draw some gain (from them), and that I might tear off a coat from one (who is) naked.’ During the short while since He drove me from His presence, mine eye has remained (fixed) upon His beauteous face; (And my thought has always been), ‘Such wrath from such a face! Oh, wonderful! (whereas) every one (else) has become
occupied with (considering) the (secondary) cause (His wrath).


2640. I do not look at the cause (His wrath), which is temporal, inasmuch as the temporal (only) produces something temporal (like itself).

I am regarding (His eternally) precedent mercy: whatsoever is temporal I rend in twain.

Grant that my declining to worship (Adam) was from envy; (yet) that envy arises from love (of God), not from denial (of obedience to His command).

It is certain, all envy arises from love, (for fear) lest another become the companion of the beloved. Brooding jealousy is the necessary consequence of love, just as saying ‘Live
long!’ must follow the sneeze.

2645. Since there was no play but this on His board, and He said, ‘Play, what more can I do? I played the one play (move) that there was, and cast myself into woe.
Even in woe I am tasting His delights: I am mated by Him, mated by Him, mated by Him!
How shall any one, O noble sir, in (this world of) six directions deliver himself from the shashdara (the place with six doors)? How shall the part of the six escape from the whole of the six, especially when the Unconditioned sets it wrong?


2650. Whoever is in the six is in the fire; (only) He that is the creator of the six will deliver him.

Truly, whether it be infidelity or faith in Him (to which he is predestined), he is the hand-loom (instrument) of the Lord and belongs to Him.”



How Mu‘áwiya again exposed the deceitfulness of Iblís.



The Amír said to him, “These things are true, but your share in these things is wanting.

You have waylaid hundreds of thousands like me: you have made a hole and have come into the treasure-house.

You are fire and naphtha: you burn, you cannot help it. Who is there whose raiment is not torn to pieces by your hand?


2655. Inasmuch as it is your nature, O fire, to be a cause of burning, there is no help but you must burn something. This is God's curse (on you), that He makes you burn (things) and makes you the master of all thieves.
You have spoken with God and heard (Him speak) face to face: what should I be (able to do) before your deceit, O enemy? Your stock of knowledge is like the sound of (the fowler's) whistle: it is the cry of birds, but it is bird-ensnaring.
That (whistle) has waylaid myriads of birds, the bird (in each case) being duped (by the fancy) that a friend is come.


2660. When it hears in the air the sound of the whistle, it comes (down) from the air and is made captive here. Through your deceit the people of Noah are in lamentation: they have hearts charred and bosoms (torn) to shreds. You gave ‘Ád in this world to the wind (of destruction): you cast (them) into torment and sorrows.
Through you was the stoning of the people of Lot: through you were they sunk in the black rain-water.

Through you was the brain of Nimrod crumbled, O you that have raised thousands of turmoils!


2665. Through you the intelligence of Pharaoh, the acute and sage, became blinded, (so that) he found no understanding. Through you also Bú Lahab became an unworthy one; through you also Bu ’l- Hakam became a Bú Jahl.
O you that on this chessboard, for the sake of remembrance*, have checkmated hundreds of thousands of masters, O you by whose difficult attacking moves (our) hearts have been burned and your (own) heart has been blackened,
You are the sea of cunning, (and all) the creatures (are but) a drop: you are like a mountain and (we) simple ones (are but) a mote.


2670. Who shall escape from your cunning, O adversary? We are drowned in the flood, except them that are protected (by
God).

By you many a fortunate star has been burned: by you many an army and host have been scattered.”



How Iblís again replied to Mu‘áwiya.



Iblís said to him, “Unravel this knot (and apprehend the matter): I am the touchstone for the false coin and the true.

God has made me the test of lion and cur, God has made me the test of genuine coin and counterfeit.

When have I blackened the false coin's face? I am the money-changer: I have (only) valued it.


2675. To the good I act as guide, the dry branches I rip off.

I lay these (different) sorts of fodder (before people)—for what purpose? In order that it may be seen of what kind the animal is.

When a wolf bears young to an antelope, and there is some doubt whether it (the young one) has the nature of wolf or antelope, Drop you grass and bones in front of it (and see) to which side it quickly steps.
If it comes towards the bones, it is canine; and if it craves the grass, it is assuredly of the antelope race.


2680. A wrath and a mercy were wedded to one another: from these twain was born the world of good and evil. Offer grass and bones, offer the food of the flesh and the food of the spirit.
If he seek the food of the flesh, he is bobtailed (worthless), and if he desire the food of the spirit, he is a (spiritual) chief. If he serve the body, he is an ass; and if he go into the sea of the spirit, he will find pearls.
Although these twain—good and evil—are different, yet these twain are (engaged) in one work.


2685. The prophets offer devotions, the enemies (of God) offer lusts.

How should I make the good man bad? I am not God. I am (only) a prompter, I am not their creator. (How) should I make the fair foul? I am not the Lord. I am (only) a mirror for the foul and the fair. The Hindoo burnt a mirror in vexation, saying, ‘This (mirror) causes a man to look black-faced.’
He (God) has made me an informer and truth-teller, that I may tell where the ugly one is and where the beautiful.


2690. I am a witness: how is prison (the right place) for a witness? I do not deserve (to go to) prison, God is the witness (to my innocence).

Wherever I see a fruitful sapling, I foster (it) diligently like a nurse.

Wherever I see a sour and dry tree, I cut it down, in order that the musk may be delivered (separated) from the dung. The dry (tree) says to the gardener, ‘O young man, why do you cut off my head without fault (on my part)?’
The gardener says, ‘Be silent, O evil-natured one! Is not your dryness sin enough in you?’


2695. The dry (tree) says, I am straight, I am not crooked: why are you houghing me (who am) without guilt?’ The gardener says, ‘Hadst you been blest, would that you wert crooked (if only) you wert moist (full of sap). you wouldst have drawn (into yourself) the Water of Life: you wouldst have been steeped in the Water of Life. your seed and your root were bad, and you have not been joined to a good tree.
If the sour branch be joined to a sweet one, that sweetness will strike (impress itself) on its nature.’”



How Mu‘áwiya dealt sternly with Iblís.


2700. Said the Amír, “O brigand, do not argue: there is no way for you (to penetrate) into me, (so) do not seek the way. You are a brigand, and I am a stranger and merchant: how should I purchase any garments that you may bring?
Do not prowl about my property, infidel as you are: you are not one to buy the property of anybody.

The brigand is not a buyer for (from) any person, and if he seem to be a buyer, It is (only his) deceit and artfulness.

I wonder what this envier has in his gourd! O God, help us against this enemy!


2705. If he pronounce one more screed (of his spells) over me, this brigand will rob me of the mantle (of my faith).



How Mu‘áwiya complained of Iblís to the most high God and besought His aid.


O God, this talk of his is like smoke: take my hand (and help me), or else my raiment is blackened.

I cannot prevail in argument with Iblís, for he leads every one, noble and base (alike), into temptation.

Adam, who is the lord of He taught (him) the Names, is powerless before the lightning-like onset of this cur.

He cast him from Paradise upon the face of the earth: he (Adam) fell from Simák into his net, like a fish,


2710. Crying in lamentation, Verily, we have wronged (ourselves). There is no bound to his (Satan's) guile and imposture. In his every saying there is mischief: myriads of enchantments are concealed in his mind.
He unmans* men in a moment: he kindles vain desire in man and woman.

O Iblís, you that consume the people and seek to tempt them (to their ruin), on what ground did you awaken me*? Tell the truth!”



How Iblís once more exhibited his deceit.



He said, “No man that thinks evil (is suspicious) would hearken to the truth notwithstanding a hundred signs (that pointed it out).


2715. Every mind that has conceived fancies (suspicions)—when you bring forward proof, its fancy is increased.

When (sound and true) words enter it, they become a disease (they are corrupted and falsified): the holy warrior's sword becomes a tool for the thief.

Therefore the answer to him is silence and rest: to talk with a fool is madness.
Why do you complain to God of me, O simpleton? Complain of the wickedness of that vile fleshly soul. You eat halwá (sweetmeat), (then) boils break out in you, fever lays hold of you, your health is disordered.


2720. You curse Iblís, guiltless (though he is). How do you not see (that) that deception (proceeds) from yourself?

It is not (the fault) of Iblís, it is (the fault) of yourself, O misguided one, that you are running like a fox towards the sheep's fat tail.

When you see the fat tails in the green field, It is a snare. Why are you ignorant of this?

You are ignorant because desire for the fat tail has made you far from knowledge and has blinded your (spiritual) eye and intelligence.

Your love of (sensual) things makes you blind and deaf; your black fleshly soul is the culprit: do not quarrel (with others).


2725. Do not put the guilt on me, do not see upside down. I am averse to evil and greed and enmity. I did an evil deed and am still repenting: I am waiting that my night may turn to day.
I have become suspect amongst mankind: every man and woman lay their (evil) actions on me (at my door). The helpless wolf, though he is hungry, is suspected of being in luxury.
When, because of feebleness, he cannot go his way, people say it is indigestion (arising) from gross (rich and heavy) food.”

How Mu‘áwiya once more pressed Iblís hard.




2730. He said, “Nothing but the truth will save you: justice is calling you to (speak) the truth.

Tell the truth, so that you may be delivered from my hand: cunning will not lay the dust of my war (will not induce me to leave you in peace).”

He (Iblís) said, “How do you know (the difference between) falsehood and truth, O thinker of vain fancies, (you that are) filled with (idle) thoughts (about me)?”

He answered, “The Prophet has given an indication: he has laid down the touchstone (criterion) for (distinguishing) the base coin and the good.

He has said, ‘Falsehood is (the cause of) disquiet in (men's) hearts’; he has said, ‘Truth is (the cause of) a joyous tranquillity.’


2735. The (troubled) heart is not comforted by lying words: water and oil kindle no light. (Only) in truthful speech is there comfort for the heart: truths are the bait that entraps the heart.
Sick, surely, and ill-savoured is the heart that knows not (cannot distinguish) the taste of this and that.
When the heart becomes whole (is healed) of pain and disease, it will recognize the flavour of falsehood and truth. When Adam's greed for the wheat waxed great, it robbed Adam's heart of health.


2740. Then he gave ear to your lies and enticements: he was befooled and drank the killing poison.

At that moment he knew not scorpion (kazhdum) from wheat (gandum): discernment flies from one that is drunken with vain desire.

The people are drunken with cupidity and desire: hence they are accepting your cheatery.

Whoever has rid his nature of vain desire has (thereby) made his (spiritual) eye familiar with the secret.

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