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(Masnavi Book 2: 43) The four Indians who lost their prayers




Story of the Indian who quarrelled with his friend over a certain action and was not aware that he too was afflicted with (guilty of) it.



Four Indians went into a mosque: they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves for worship's sake. Each one performed the takbír (following) upon a niyyat, and began to pray with lowliness and contrition.
(When) the muezzin came, from one of them fell a remark— “O muezzin, have you given the call to prayers? Is it time?”


3030. The second Indian said on the spur of the moment, “Hey, you have spoken, and (so) your prayer is null.” The third one said to the second, “O uncle, why do you rail at him? Tell yourself (how to behave).
Said the fourth, “Praise be to God that I have not fallen into the pit (of error), like those three persons.”
Hence the prayers of all the four were marred; and the fault-finders went astray more (than he who made the original mistake). Oh, happy the soul that saw its own fault, and if any one told (found) a fault, wished eagerly (to take) that (fault) upon itself!—


3035. Because half of him (every man) has always belonged to the realm of faults, and the other half of him to the realm of the Unseen.

Since you have ten sores on your head, you must apply the plaster to yourself.

Finding fault with the sore (in yourself) is the (right) remedy for him (who is at fault); when he has become broken (contrite), it is (then) the (proper) occasion for (obeying the Prophet's injunction), “Have pity.

(Even) if you have not the same fault, be not secure; maybe, that fault will afterwards become notorious in you.

You have not heard from God (the comforting words) Do not fear: why, then, have you deemed yourself secure and happy?


3040. For years Iblís lived in good renown; (afterwards) he was disgraced: mark what is (the meaning of) his name. His eminence was famed throughout the (celestial) world; (then) his fame turned to infamyoh, alas for him!
Do not seek fame till you are secure: wash your face of fear, then show your face.

Until your (own) beard grows, my good man, do not jeer at another whose chin is smooth.

Consider this, that his (Satan's) soul was tried (by the wrath of God), so that he is fallen in (sunk in perdition); and (in his fall) he became a warning to you.


3045. You did not fall, so that you should be a warning to him. He drank the poison: eat you his sugar!

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