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(Masnavi Book 3: 57) Anas ؓ and the Prophet's ﷺ napkin




The story of Anas, may God be pleased with him: how he cast a napkin into a fiery oven, and it was not burnt.

3110. It has come (down to us) concerning Anas son of Málik that a certain person became his guest.
He (that person) related that after the meal Anas saw the table-napkin (was) yellow in hue, Dirty and stained; and said, O maid-servant, throw it into the oven at once.”
Thereupon the intelligent (maid) threw it into the oven, which was full of fire.
All the guests were astounded thereat: they were in expectation of (seeing) the smoke of the
(burning) napkin.

3115. After a short time she took it out of the oven, clean and white and purged of that filth.

The party (of guests) said, O venerable Companion (of the Prophet), how didn't it burn, and how too did it become cleansed?”
He replied, Because Mustafá (Mohammed) often rubbed his hands and lips on this napkin.” O heart afraid of the fire and torment (of Hell), draw nigh unto such a hand and lip as that! Since it (the Prophet's blessing) bestowed such honour upon a lifeless object, what things will it reveal to the soul of the lover!

3120. Inasmuch as he (the Prophet) made the clods of the Ka‘ba the qibla (towards which the Moslems turn), do thou, O soul, be (as) the dust of holy men in (your) war (against the flesh). Afterwards they said to the maid-servant, Wilt not you tell (us) yours own feelings about all
this?
Why didst you (so) quickly cast it (into the oven) at his behest? I suppose he was acquainted with the secrets,
(But) why didst thou, mistress, throw such a precious napkin into the fire?”
She answered, I have confidence in the generous: I do not despair of their bounty.

3125. What of a piece of cloth? If he bid me (myself) go without regret into the very essence of the fire,
I, from perfect confidence (in him), will fall (throw myself) in: I have great hope of them that are
devoted to God.
I will throw myself in, not (only) this napkin, because of my confidence in every generous one who knows the mystery.”
O brother, apply yourself to this elixir: the faith of a man must not be less than the faith of a
woman.
The heart of the man that is less than a woman is the heart that is less (in worth) than the belly.

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