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(Masnavi Book 3: 55) The Faith of the Worldly




Explaining how the faith of the conventional (worldly) man consists in fear and hope.

The motive in every trade is hope and chance, even though their necks are (worn thin), like a spindle, from (incessant) toil.
When he (the trader) goes in the morning to his shop, he is running (thither) in the hope and chance of
(earning) a livelihood.

3095. (If) you have not the chance of (earning) a livelihood, why do you go (to your shop)? There is the fear (danger) of disappointment: how (then) are you strong (confident)?
In (the case of) earning food, how has the fear of eternal (eternally predestined) disappointment
not made you feeble in your search?
You will say, “Though the fear of disappointment is before (me), this fear is greater (when I am)
in idleness.
(When I am) at work my hope is greater: (when I am) in idleness I have more risk.”
Then, O evil-thinking man, why is this fear of loss holding you back in the matter of religion?

3100. Or have not you seen in what a gainful trade the people of this bazaar of ours, the prophets and the saints, are (engaged),
And what mines (of treasure) have appeared to them from this going to the (spiritual) shop, and how they have gotten gain in this market?
To that one the fire became submissive, like an anklet; to that one the sea became submissive and carried him on its shoulders;
To that one the iron became submissive and wax-like; to that one the wind became a slave and subject.

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