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(Masnavi Book 3: 51) Kings compared to the Báb-i Saghír at Jerusalem





Explaining how God most High has made the bodily form of kings a means of subduing the insolent (sinners) who are not subject to God, just as Moses, on whom
be peace, built the Báb-i Sagr in the wall of Jerusalem in order that the insolent (and wicked) men among the Israelites might bow low when they entered in, (according to the text), “Enter the gate, prostrating yourselves, and say ‘hittatun.’”

Likewise God has built a Báb-i Saghír from the flesh and bones of kings. Take heed!
The people of this world make prostration before them, since they are opposed to prostration before the Divine Majesty.

3000. He (God) has made a little dunghill their mihráb (place of worship): the name of that mihráb is prince and paladin.
Ye (worldlings) are not fit for this holy Presence: holy men are (like) the sugarcane; ye are (like)
the empty reed.
These vile wretches grovel before those curs; (but) it is a disgrace to the lion that they should be complaisant to him.
The cat is the (dreaded) overseer of every mouse-natured one: who is the mouse that it should be afraid of the lions?
Their fear is (only) of the curs of God: how should they have fear of the Sun of God?

3005. The litany of those great (venerable) ones ismy Lord the most High”;my lord the most low is suitable to these fools.
How should the mouse fear the lions of the (spiritual) battle-field? Nay, (they that fear the lions are) those who have the speed and the musk-bag of the deer.
O licker of pots, go to him that licks basins and write him down as your lord and benefactor!
Enough! If I give a far-reaching exposition, the (worldly) prince will be angered; and besides he knows that it (his case) is (such as has been described).
The upshot is this:—O noble man, do evil to the vile, that the villain may lay his neck (before
thee).”

3010. When he (the noble man) deals kindly with the villain, his (fleshly) soul, the wicked soul shows ingratitude, like the vile.
It was on this account that the afflicted are thankful, (while) the fortunate are rebellious and deceitful.
The bey with his gold-embroidered coat is rebellious; the distressed wearer of a coarse woollen
cloak (abá) is thankful.
How should thankfulness grow from possessions and riches? Thankfulness grows from tribulation and sickness.

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