How Majnún petted the dog that lived in Layla's abode.
(They behaved) like Majnún, who was (seen) petting a dog and kissing it and melting (with fondness) before it:
He was pacing round it, stooping humbly in circumambulation; he was also giving it pure sugar- julep (to drink).
An idle talker said, “O half-baked Majnún, what hypocrisy is this that you art always displaying?
570. A dog's muzzle is ever eating filth; a dog scrapes its séant with its lips.”
He recounted the dog's faults at some length: no one who perceives faults (‘aybdán) has got
(even) a scent (inkling) of him that knows the things unseen (ghaybdán).
Majnún said, “You art entirely (external) form and body: come within, and view it (the dog)
through my eyes;
For this (dog) is a talisman sealed by (the hand of) the Lord: this (dog) is the guardian of the abode of Laylá.
Look at its high aspiration and its heart and soul and knowledge; (consider) where it chose (to live) and made its dwelling-place.
575. It is the dog of blessed countenance, (the dog) of my Cave; nay, it is the sharer of my grief and woe.
The dog that stays in her abode, how should I give a single hair of it to the lions?
Oh, since to her dogs the lions are (devoted) slaves, there is no possibility of speaking (further). Silence, and farewell!”
If ye pass beyond form, O friends, it is Paradise and rose-gardens within rose gardens.
When you have broken and destroyed yours own form, you have learned to break the form of everything.
580. After that, you wilt break every form: like Haydar (‘Alí), you wilt uproot the gate of
That simple Khwája was duped by form, for he was going to the country on (the strength of)
infirm words (vain promises).
(He was going) joyously towards the snare of that flattery, as a bird towards the bait of tribulation.
The bird deemed the bait a mark of kindness (on the part of the fowler), (although) that gift is
(really) the extreme of cupidity and is not munificence;
(So) in desire for the bait the little birds are merrily flying and running towards that imposture.
585. If I acquaint you (fully) with the joy of the Khwája, I fear, O wayfarer, lest I make you late.
I will abridge. When the village came in sight, it was not in sooth that village (which he was seeking), (so) he chose another road.
For about a month they were hurrying from village to village, because they did not well know the
way to the (countryman's) village.
If anybody goes on the way without a leader, every two days' journey becomes one of a hundred years.
Whoever speeds towards the Ka‘ba without a guide becomes contemptible, like these bewildered men.
590. Whoever takes up a trade (or profession) without (having) a teacher becomes a laughing-stock in town and country.
Except it be (a) singular (case), (in the whole world) between East and West does a descendant of Adam put forth his head (come to birth) without parents?
He gains wealth who earns something; it is an extraordinary event when one hits upon a (buried)
Where is a Mustafá (Mohammed) whose body is spirit, so that the Merciful (God) should teach
(him) the Qur’án?
For all those who are attached to the body He (God), in profusion of bounty, raised (the banner of) “He taught by the pen” as the means (of acquiring knowledge).
595. O son, every greedy person is deprived (of spiritual blessings): do not you run like the greedy, (go) more slowly.
On that journey they (the townsman's party) suffered pains and anguish like the torment of a land-bird in fresh water.
They became sick of the village and the country and of the sugared expressions of such an uninstructed boor.
How the Khwája and his kinsfolk arrived at the village, and how the countryman pretended not to see or recognise them:
When, after a month, they arrived in that quarter, themselves without provisions and their beasts without fodder,
See how the countryman, from evil intent, still inflicts (on them) calamities small and great,
600. And keeps his face hidden from them by day, lest they should open their mouths in the direction of his orchard.
It is better that a face like that, which is wholly (composed of) hypocrisy and malice, should be hidden from Moslems.
There are faces on which demons are settled like gnats, as (though they were) guardsmen. When you behold his (such a one's) face, they (the demons) fall upon you: either do not behold that face, (or) when you have beheld (it), do not laugh pleasantly.
Concerning such a wicked, sinful face God has said, “Verily, We will drag (him) by the forelock.”
605. When they (the townsman's party) had made enquiry and found his (the countryman's)
house, they hurried like kinsfolk to the door.
(Thereupon) the people in his house bolted the door. At this perverseness, the Khwája became mad-like,
But indeed it was no time for asperity: when you have fallen into the pit, what is the use of being
Five days they remained at his door: (they passed) the night in the cold, the day itself in the blaze of the sun.
Their remaining (there) was not from heedlessness or asininity; nay, it was from necessity and
want of an ass.
610. From necessity, the good are (often) bound to the vile: from sore hunger the lion will eat a putrid carcase.
He (the townsman) would see him (the countryman) and salute him, saying, “I am so-and-so, this is my name.”
“Maybe,” he said; “how should I know who you art, whether you art a dirty fellow or an honest gentleman?”
“This moment,” said he, “resembles the Resurrection, since a brother has come to flee from his brother.”
He would explain to him (the countryman), saying, “I am he from whose table you didst eat viands manifold.
615. On such and such a day I bought that merchandise for you: every secret that goes beyond the two (who share it) is published (to all).
The people heard the secret of our affection; (as a rule) when the gullet has received bounty, the face has (signs of) bashfulness.”
He (the countryman) would say to him, “Why do you talk nonsense? I know neither you nor your name nor your dwelling-place.”
On the fifth night there began such a (storm of) cloud and rain that the sky might (well) be
astonished at its raining.
When the knife reached the bone, the Khwája knocked at the door, crying, “Call the master!”
620. When (at last), in response to a hundred urgent entreaties, he came to the door, he said, “Why, what is it, my dear sir?”
He replied, “I abandon those claims (to your gratitude), I renounce that (recompense) which I was fancying.
I have suffered five years' pain: five days my miserable soul (has been) amidst this heat and blaze.”
One injustice from kindred and friends and family is in heaviness as three hundred thousand, Because he (the sufferer) did not set his mind on (anticipate) his (the friend's) cruelty and injustice: his soul was accustomed to kindness and faithfulness from him.
625. Whatsoever is tribulation and sore grief to men, know for sure that this is in consequence of its being contrary to habit.
He (the townsman) said (further), “O you the sun of whose love is in decline, if you have shed my blood, I acquit you.
On this night of rain give us a nook (to shelter in), so that at the Resurrection you mayst obtain a viaticum (reward for the good work).”
“There is a nook,” he replied, “belonging to the keeper of the vineyard: he keeps watch there against the wolf,
(With) bow and arrow in his hand on account of the wolf, so that he may shoot if the fierce wolf
630. If you wilt do that service, the place is thine; and if not, have the kindness to seek another place.”
He said, “I will do a hundred services, (only) give you the place, and put that bow and arrow in my hand.
I will not sleep, I will guard the vines; if the wolf raise his head, I will shoot the arrow at him.
For God's sake do not leave me to-night, O double-hearted (hypocrite), (with) the rain-water overhead and the mud underneath!”
A nook was cleared, and he with his family went thither: (’twas) a narrow place and without room to turn.
635. Mounted upon one another, like locusts, (and crowded) from terror of the flood into the corner of the cavern,
During the night, the whole night, they all (were) crying, “O God, this serves us right, serves us right, serves us right.”
This is what is deserved by him that consorted with the vile, or showed worthiness for the sake
of the unworthy.
This is what is deserved by him that in vain desire gives up paying homage to the dust of the noble.
That you lick the dust and the wall of the pure (elect) is better (for you) than the vulgar and their
vines and rose-gardens.
640. That you become a slave to a man of enlightened heart is better (for you) than that you should walk upon the crown of the head of kings.
From the kings of earth you will get nothing but the (empty) noise of a drum, O courier of
Even the townsmen are brigands in comparison with the Spirit. Who is the countryman? The fool that is without spiritual gifts.
This is what is deserved by him who, (when) the cry of a ghoul came to him, without rational
foresight chose to move (towards the ghoul).
When repentance has gone from the (core of the) heart to the pericardium after this it is of no use to acknowledge (one's sin).
645. (With) the bow and arrow in his hand, he (was) seeking the wolf all night to and fro. The wolf, in sooth, was given power over him, like sparks of fire: (he was) seeking the wolf (outside), and (was) unaware of the wolf (within himself).
Every gnat, every flea, had become as a wolf and inflicted a wound upon them in that ruined place.
There was no opportunity even of driving away those gnats, because of (their) dread of an attack
by the contumacious wolf,
Lest the wolf should inflict some damage, (and then) the countryman would tear out the
650. In this wise (they were) gnashing their teeth till midnight: their souls were coming (up)
from the navel to the lip.
Suddenly the figure of a deserted (solitary) wolf raised its head (appeared) from the top of a hillock.
The Khwája loosed the arrow from the thumbstall and shot at the animal, so that it fell to the ground.
In falling, wind escaped from the animal: the countryman uttered a wail and beat his hands, (Crying), “O ungenerous (wretch), it is my ass-colt!” “Nay,” said he, “this is the devilish wolf.
655. The features of wolfishness are apparent in it; its form makes (one) acquainted with its wolfishness.”
“Nay,” he said, “I know the wind that escaped from its arse as well as (I know) water from wine. You have killed my ass-colt in the meadows—mayst you never be released from anguish!”
“Make a better investigation,” he replied; “it is night, and at night material objects are screened from the beholder.
Night causes many a thing to appear wrong and changed (from its proper aspect): not every one
has the (power of) seeing correctly by night.
660. (Now there is) both night and clouds and heavy rain withal: these three darknesses produce great error.”
He said, “To me it is as (manifest as) bright day: I know (it), it is the wind of my ass-colt. Amongst twenty winds I know that wind as the traveller (knows) his provisions for the journey.” The Khwája sprang up, and losing patience he seized the countryman by his collar,
Crying, “O fool and cutpurse, you have shown hypocrisy: you have eaten both beng and opium together.
665. Amidst three darknesses you knowest the wind of the ass: how do not you know me, O giddy-head?
He that knows a colt at midnight, how should he not know his own ten years' comrade?”
You art feigning to be distraught (with love of God) and a gnostic: you art throwing dust in the eyes of generosity,
Saying, “I have no consciousness even of myself: in my heart there is no room for aught but
I have no recollection of what I ate yesterday: this heart takes joy in nothing except bewilderment.
670. I am sane and maddened by God: remember (this), and (since I am) in such a state of selflessness, hold me excusable.
He that eats carrion, that is to say, (drinks) date-wine—the (religious) Law enrols him amongst those who are excused.
The drunkard and eater of beng has not (the right of) divorce or barter; he is even as a child: he is a person absolved and emancipated.
The intoxication that arises from the scent of the unique King—a hundred vats of wine never wrought that (intoxication) in head and brain.
To him (the God-intoxicated man), then, how should the obligation (to keep the Law) be applicable? The horse is fallen (out of account) and has become unable to move.
675. Who in the world would lay a load upon the ass-colt? Who would give lessons in Persian to Bú Murra?
When lameness comes, the load is taken off: God has said, It is no sin in the blind.
I have become blind in regard to myself, seeing by (the grace of) God: therefore I am absolved from the small (obligation) and from the great.”
You braggest of your dervishhood and selflessness, (you utterest) the wailful cries of those
intoxicated with God,
Saying, “I know not earth from heaven.” The (Divine) jealousy has tried you, tried you (and found you wanting).
680. Thus has the wind of your ass-colt put you to shame, thus has it affirmed the existence of your self-negation.
In this wise doth God expose hypocrisy, in this wise doth He catch the quarry that has started away.
There are hundreds of thousands of trials, O father, for any one who says, “I am the captain of the Gate.”
If the vulgar do not know him by (putting him to) the trial, (yet) the adepts of the Way will demand from him the token (of his veracity).
When a churl pretends to be a tailor, the king will throw down a piece of satin in front of him,
685. Saying, “Cut this into a wide undervest (baghaltáq)”: from (as the result of) the trial there appear two horns on him.
Were there not a testing of every vicious person, every effeminate would be a Rustam in the fray.
Even suppose that the effeminate has put on a coat of mail: as soon as he feels the blow, he will
become as a captive.
How will he that is intoxicated with God be restored to his senses by (the soft breath of) the west-wind? The God-intoxicated man will not come to himself at the blast of the trumpet (of
The wine of God is true, not false: you have drunk buttermilk, you have drunk buttermilk, buttermilk, buttermilk!
690. You have made yourself out to be a Junayd or a Báyazíd, (saying), “Begone, for I do not know a hatchet from a key.”
How by means of hypocrisy, O contriver of fraud, wilt you conceal depravity of nature and
(spiritual) sloth and greed and concupiscence?
You makest yourself a Mansúr-i Halláj and settest fire to the cotton of your friends,
Saying, “I do not know ‘Umar from Bú Lahab, (but) I know the wind of my ass-colt at midnight.” Oh, the ass that would believe this from an ass like you, and would make himself blind and deaf
for your sake!
695. Do not count yourself one of the travellers on the Way; you art a comrade of them that defile the Way: do not eat dung (do not talk rubbish)!
Fly back from hypocrisy, hasten towards Reason: how shall the wing of the phenomenal (unreal)
soar to Heaven?
You have feigned to be a lover of God, (but in truth) you have played the game of love with a black devil.
At the Resurrection lover and beloved shall be tied in couples and quickly brought forward (to judgement).
Why have you made yourself crazy and senseless? Where is the blood of the vine? You have drunk our blood,
700. (Saying), “Begone, I do not know you: spring away from me. I am a gnostic who is beside himself and (I am) the Buhlúl of the village.”
You art conceiving a false opinion of your nearness to God, thinking that the Tray-maker is not far from the tray;
(And) you do not see this, that the nearness of the saints (to God) has a hundred miracles and pomps and powers.
By David iron is made (soft as) a piece of wax; in your hand wax is (hard) as iron.
Nearness (to God) in respect of (His) creating and sustaining (us) is common to all, (but only)
these noble ones possess the nearness (consisting) of the inspiration of Love.
705. Nearness is of various kinds, O father: the sun strikes (both) on the mountains and on the gold (in the mine);
But between the sun and the gold there is a nearness (affinity) of which the bid tree has no knowledge.
(Both) the dry and fresh bough are near to the sun: how should the sun be screened off from either?
But where is the nearness of the sappy bough, from which you eat ripe fruit?
From nearness to the sun let the dry bough get (if it can) anything besides withering sooner!
710. O man without wisdom, do not be an inebriate of the sort that (when) he comes (back)
to his wits he feels sorry;
Nay, be one of those inebriates on account of whom, whilst they are drinking the wine (of Divine
Love), mature (strong) intellects suffer regret.
O you who, like a cat, have caught (nothing better than) an old mouse, if you art pot-valiant with that wine (of Love), catch the Lion!
O you who have drunk of the phantom cup of Naught do not reel like them that are intoxicated with the (Divine) realities.
You art falling to this side and that, like the drunken: O you (who art) on this side, there is no
passage for you on that side.
715. If you (ever) find the way to that side, thenceforth toss your head now to this side, now to that!
You art all on this side, (therefore) do not idly boast of that side: since you have not (died) the death (to self), do not agonise yourself in vain.
He with the soul of Khadir, (he) that does not shrink from death—if he know not the created
(world), it is fitting.
You sweetenest your palate with the savour of false imagination; you blowest into the bag of selfhood and fillest it:
Then, at one prick of a needle you art emptied of wind— may no intelligent man's body be fat
(swollen) like this!
720. You makest pots of snow in winter: when they see the water how shall they maintain that (former) constancy?