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(Masnavi Book 2: 51) The miracles of Ibrahim son of Adham






The miracles of Ibráhím son of Adham—may God sanctify his holy spirit!—on the seashore.

3210. Thus, it is related of Ibráhím son of Adham that after a journey he sat down (to rest) by the edge of the sea. (Whilst) he was stitching his Súfí mantle, an Amír, walking on the shore, suddenly came to that spot.
That Amír had been one of the Shaykh's servants; he recognized the Shaykh and at once bowed low.
He was astounded at the Shaykh and at his dervish garb— (for) his nature and outward guise had become transformed— (Marvelling) that he gave up such a grand kingdom, and chose that very pettifogging (spiritual) poverty;


3215. (And why) he lets the sovereignty of the Seven Climes be lost (by him), and plies the needle on his dervish-cloak, like a beggar.

The Shaykh became aware of his thought: a Shaykh is as the lion, and (people's) hearts are his jungle. He is entering, like hope and fear, into (their) hearts: not hid from him are the secrets of the world.
Keep watch over your hearts, O fruitless ones, in the presence of the majesty of the men of heart (saints).

Before the men of body (worldings), respect is (shown) outwardly, for God is veiling the occult from them.


3220. Before the men of heart (saints), respect is (shown) inwardly, because their hearts have insight into the secret thoughts.

You art contrariwise: for the sake of (worldly) position you comest with reverence before them that are blind (to spiritual things), and sittest in the vestibule;

(But) before the seers you behavest disrespectfully: hence you have become fuel for the fire of lust.

Since you have not (spiritual) perception and the light of (Divine) guidance, continue to polish (cleanse and brighten) your face for the sake of the blind!

Before the seers, daub your face with dirt! Act haughtily (towards them) notwithstanding such a stinking state (as you artin)!


3225. The Shaykh quickly threw his needle into the sea, and with a loud voice called for the needle. Myriads of Divine fishes—in the lips of each fish a needle of gold—
Lifted their heads from God's sea, saying, “Take, O Shaykh, God's needles.”

He turned his face towards him (the Amír) and said to him, “O Amír, is the kingdom of the heart (spirit) better, or such a despicable kingdom (as I once possessed)?”

This (miracle) is the outward sign, this is nothing: wait till you enter the inward (shrine and) see (what is there)!


3230. From the garden they bring to town (only) a branch: how should they carry thither the (whole) garden and orchard?— Especially, a Garden whereof this heaven is (but) one leaf; nay, that is the kernel, and this other (world) is as the husk.
(If) you are not stepping on (briskly) towards that Garden, seek more scent, and get rid of (your) rheum,
In order that that scent may draw your soul (thither); in order that that scent may become the light of your eyes. For the scent's sake Joseph, son of Jacob the prophet, said: Cast (my shirt) upon my father's face.


3235. For this scent's sake Ahmad (Mohammed) constantly said in (his) exhortations: “In the ritual prayer is the delight of mine eye.

The five (spiritual) senses are linked with one another, because all these five have grown from one root. The strength of one becomes the strength of the rest: each one becomes a cupbearer to the rest.
Seeing with the eye increases speech; speech increases penetration in the eye.

Penetration (of sight) becomes the (means of) awakening (stimulating) every sense, (so that) perception (of the spiritual) becomes familiar to (all) the senses.

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