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(Masnavi Book 3: 37) The Shaykh who showed no grief at the death of his sons








How a certain Shaykh showed no grief at the death of his sons.

Formerly there was a Shaykh, a (spiritual) Director, a heavenly Candle on the face of the earth, One like a prophet amongst religious communities, an opener of the door of the garden of Paradise.
The Prophet said that a Shaykh who has gone forward (to perfection) is like a prophet amidst his people.

1775. One morning his family said to him, “Tell us, O man of good disposition, how art thou
(so) hard-hearted?
We with backs (bent) double are mourning for the death and loss of your sons: Why art not you weeping and lamenting? Or have you no pity in your heart?
Since you have no pity within, what hope for us is there now from thee?
We are in hope of you, O guide, that you wilt not leave us to perish.

1780. When the throne is set up on the Day of Resurrection, it is you that art our intercessor on that grievous day.
On such a merciless day and night we are hopeful of your kindness.
Our hands will cling to your skirt at that moment when security remains not to any sinner.”
The Prophet has said, “On the Day of Resurrection how should I leave the sinners to shed tears? I will intercede with (all) my soul for the disobedient, that I may deliver them from the heavy torment.

1785. I will deliver by my efforts the disobedient and those who have committed capital sins from (suffering) punishment for breaking their covenant.
The righteous of my community are, in sooth, free from (have no need of) my intercessions on the Day of Woe;

Nay, they have (the right to make) intercessions, and their words go (forth) like an effective decree.
No burdened one shall bear another's burden, (but) I am not burdened: God has exalted me.” O youth, the Shaykh is he that is without a burden and is like a bow in the hand (a mere instrument) in receiving (the command of) God.

1790. Who is a “Shaykh”? An old man (pír), that is (to say), white-haired. Do you apprehend the meaning of this “(white) hair,” O hopeless one.
The black hair is his self-existence: (he is not old) till not a single hair of his self-existence
remains.
When his self-existence has ceased, he is old (pír), whether he be blackhaired or grizzled. That “black hair is the attribute of (sensual) men; that “hair is not the hair of the beard or the
hair of the head.
Jesus in the cradle raises a cry, saying, “Without having become a youth, I am a Shaykh and a
r.”

1795. If he (the Sú) has been delivered from (only) a part of the attributes of (sensual) men, he is not a Shaykh; he is grey (middle-aged), O son.
When there is not on him a single black hair (of the self-existence) which is our attribute, (then)
he is a Shaykh and accepted of God;
(But) if, when his hair is white, he is (still) with himself (self-existent), he is not a Pír and is not the elect of God;
And if a single hair-tip of his (sensual) attributes is surviving, he is not of heaven: he belongs to
the (material) world.

How the Shaykh excused himself for not weeping on the death of his sons.

The Shaykh said to her (his wife), Do not think, O gracious one, that I have not pity and affection and a compassionate heart.

1800. I have pity for all the unbelievers, though the souls of them all are ungrateful.
I have pity and forgiveness for dogs, saying (to myself), Why do they suffer chastisement from the stones (which are cast at them)?’
I utter a prayer for the dog that bites, crying, O God, deliver him from this (evil) disposition! Keep also these dogs in that (good) thought, so that they may not be stoned by the people.’” He (God) brought the saints on to the earth, in order that He might make them a mercy to (all)
created beings.

1805. He (the saint) calls the people to the Portal of Grace; he calls unto God, saying, Give
(them) release in full!”
He earnestly strives to admonish them in regard to this, and when it does not succeed, he says, O God, do not shut the door!”
To the vulgar belongs (only) the particular mercy; the universal mercy belongs to the hero (the
perfect saint).
His particular (individual) mercy has been united with the universal: the mercy of the Sea is the guide on (all) the ways.
O (you who have the) particular mercy, become joined to the universal: deem the universal
mercy the true guide, and go (forward).

1810. So long as he is (only) a part, he does not know the way to the Sea: he makes out every pool to be like unto the Sea.
Inasmuch as he does not know the way to the Sea, how should he act as a guide? How should he lead the people towards the Sea?

(When) he becomes united with the Sea, then he guides to the Sea, like a torrent or river.
And if (before this) he call (the people to God), it is in a conventional fashion; it is not from vision and inspiration or any (Divine) aid.
She (the Shaykh's wife) said, Then, since you have pity on all, and art like the shepherd (going
watchfully) around this flock,

1815. How mournest you not for yours own sons, when Death, the Bleeder, has pierced them with his lancet?
Since the evidence of pity is tears in the eyes, why are yours eyes without moisture and
tearless?”
He turned towards his wife and said to her, Old woman, verily the season of December is not like Tamúz (July).
Whether they all are dead or living, when are they absent and hid from the eye of the heart? Inasmuch as I see them distinct before me, for what reason should I rend my face as you doest?

1820. Although they are outside of Time's revolution, they are with me and playing around me.
Weeping is caused by severance or by parting; I am united with my dear ones and embracing
them.
(Other) people see them (their dear ones) in sleep; I see them plainly in (my) waking state.
I hide myself for a moment from this world, I shake the leaves of sense perception from the tree
(of my bodily existence).
Sense-perception is captive to the intellect, O reader; know also that the intellect is captive to the spirit.

1825. The spirit sets free the chained hand of the intellect and brings its embarrassed affairs into harmony.
The (bodily) senses and (sensual) thoughts are like weeds on the clear water covering the surface of the water.
The hand of the intellect sweeps those weeds aside; (then) the water is revealed to the intellect. The weeds lay very thick on the stream, like bubbles; when the weeds went aside, the water was revealed.
Unless God loose the hand of the intellect, the weeds on our water are increased by sensual desire.

1830. Every moment they cover the water (more and more): that desire is laughing, and your intellect is weeping;
(But) when piety has chained the hands of desire, God looses the hands of the intellect.
So, when the intellect becomes your captain and master, the dominant senses become subject to you.
He (who is ruled by the intellect), without being asleep (himself), puts his senses to sleep, so
that the unseen things may emerge from (the world of) the Soul.
Even in his waking state he dreams dreams and opens withal the gates of Heaven.

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