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(Masnavi Book 3: 39) The patience of Luqman







How Luqmán, when he saw David, on whom be peace, making (iron) rings, refrained from questioning him, with the intention that this act of self-control should be the cause of relief (from perplexity).

Luqmán went to David, the pure of heart, and observed that he was making rings of iron, (And) that the exalted King was casting all the steel rings into each other.
He had not seen the armourer's handicraft (before), (so) he remained in astonishment and his curiosity increased—

1845. “What can this be? I will ask him what he is making with the interfolded rings.”
Again he said to himself, “Patience is better: patience is the quickest guide to the object of one's quest.”
When you ask no question, the sooner will it (the secret) be disclosed to you: the bird, patience,
flies faster than all (others);
And if you ask, the more slowly will your object be gained: what is easy will be made difficult by your impatience.
When Luqmán kept silence, straightway that (work of making rings) was finished by David's craftsmanship.

1850. Then he fashioned a coat of mail and put it on in the presence of the noble and patient
Luqmán.
This, he said, “is an excellent garment, O young man, for warding off blows on the battle-field and in war.”
Luqmán said, “Patience too is of good effect, for it is the protection and defence against pain everywhere.”
He (God) has joined sabr (patience) with haqq (the real and permanent): O reader, recite
attentively the end of (the Súra) Wal-‘asr.
God created hundreds of thousands of elixirs, (but) Man has not seen an elixir like patience.

The remainder of the story of the blind man and his reading the Qurán.

1855. The guest showed patience, and of a sudden the difficult case was unveiled to him all at once.
At midnight he heard the sound of (recitation of) the Qur’án; he sprang up from sleep and beheld a marvel—
That the blind man was reading correctly from the Qurán. He became impatient and sought from him (an explanation of) that matter.
Oh, wonderful! he cried. You with sightless eyes, how art you reading, (how art thou) seeing the lines?
You have touched that which you art reading: you have laid your hand upon the words of that
(passage).

1860. Thy finger, in motion, makes it evident that you have yours eye resting on the words.”

He replied, O you who have been separated from the body's ignorance, do you feel this wonder at the work of God?
I begged of God, crying, O You whose help is sought, I am (as) covetous of reading the Book as (I am) of life.
I do not know it by heart: at the time of reading it, bestow on my two eyes an untroubled light. Give me back my eyes at that moment, so that I may take the Book and read it plain.’

1865. From the Divine Presence came the cry (in response): O man of (devotional) work, O
you that have hope of Me in every grief,
You have the good thought (of Me) and the fair hope that at each moment bids you mount higher.
Whensoever you intendest to read (the Qur’án) or wantest the lection from (different) copies,
At that moment I will restore yours eye, in order that you mayst read, O venerable being.Even so He did, and whenever I open the Book to read,

1870. That all-knowing One who never becomes forgetful of His work, that honoured
Sovereign and Maker,
That incomparable King at once gives my sight back to me, like a lamp that makes an end of the
(darkness of) night.”
On this account the saint has no objection (to raise against the Divine ordainment): whatsoever
He (God) takes away, He sends compensation.
If He burn your vineyard, He will give you grapes; in the midst of mourning He will give you festivity.
To the handless paralytic He gives a hand, to the (person who is a) mine of grief He gives the
(joyous) heart of an intoxicated one.

1875. (The feeling denoted by the words) “We will not submit and (the desire to raise) objection have gone from us (saints), since there is coming a great recompense for what has been lost.
Inasmuch as heat comes to me without fire, I am content if He extinguish my fire.
Inasmuch as He gives light without, any lampif your lamp is gone, why are you lamenting?

Description of some saints who are content with the (Divine) ordainments and do not pray and beseech (God) to change this decree.

Now listen to a story of those travellers on the Way who have no objection in the world. Those of the saints who make invocation are in sooth different (from these travellers): sometimes they sew and sometimes they tear.

1880. I know another class of saints whose mouths are closed to invocation.
Because of the content (quietism) that is subservient to (possessed by) those noble ones, it has become unlawful for them to seek to avert Destiny.
In (submitting to) Destiny they experience a peculiar delight: it would be (an act of) infidelity for
them to crave release.
He (God) has revealed to their hearts such a good opinion (of Him) that they do not put on the blue garb (of mourning) on account of any sorrow.

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