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(Masnavi Book 3: 78) How Satan deceived the Quraysh








How Satan said to the Quraysh, “Go to war with Ahmad (Mohammed), for I will aid you and call my tribe to help; and how, when the two battle-lines confronted each other, he fled.

As (for example) Satan became the hundred-and-first in the army (of the Quraysh) and spake beguiling words, saying, Verily, I am a protector for you.”
When the Quraysh had assembled at his bidding, and the two armies confronted each other,
Satan espied a host of angels on a road beside the ranks of the Faithful.

(He espied) those troops that ye saw not, drawn up in ranks; and from terror his soul became
(like) a fire-temple.

4040. Turning on his heel, he began to retreat, saying, I behold a marvellous host”— That is, I fear God: I have no help from Him. Get ye gone! Verily, I see what ye see not.”
Hárith said, Hey, O you that have the form of Suráqa, why wert not you saying such-like words
yesterday?
He replied, “At this moment I see destruction (before me). He (Hárith) said, You seest the most puny of the Arabs.
You art seeing naught but this; but, O you disgrace, that was the time of talk, and this is the time of battle.

4045. Yesterday you wert saying, I pledge myself that victory and Divine aid will always be yours.’
Yesterday you wert the surety for the army, O accursed one, and now you art cowardly, good- for-nothing, and vile,
So that (after) we swallowed those (deceitful) words of yours and came (to battle), you have gone to the bath-stove and we have become the fuel.”
When Hárith said this to Suráqa, that accursed one was enraged at his reproaches.
He angrily withdrew his hand from his (Hárith's) hand, since his heart was pained by his words.

4050. Satan smote his (Hárith's) breast and fled: by means of this plot he shed the blood of those wretched men.
After he had ruined so great a multitude, he then said, “Lo, I am quit of you.”
He smote him on the breast and overthrew him; then he turned to flee, since terror urged him on.
The fleshly soul and the Devil both have (ever) been one person (essentially); (but) they have manifested themselves in two forms,
Like the angel and the intellect, which were (really) one, (but) became two forms for the sake of
His (God's) wise purposes.

4055. You have such an enemy as this in your inward part: he is the preventer of the intellect, and the adversary of the spirit and of religion.
At one moment he dashes forward like the Libyan lizard; then (again) in flight he darts away into a hole.
Just now he has (many) holes in the (human) heart, and from every hole he is putting out his
head.
The name that denotes the Devil's becoming hidden from (men's) souls and going into that hole is khunús (slinking back),
For his khunús is like the khunús of the hedgehog: like the head of the hedgehog, he pops in and
out;

4060. For God has called the Devil Khannás (the slinker), because he resembles the head of the little hedgehog.
The head of the hedgehog is continually being hidden because of its fear of the cruel hunter, Until, when it has found an opportunity, it puts out its head: by such a stratagem the snake becomes its prey.
If the fleshly soul had not waylaid you from within, how would the brigands have any power to lay a hand upon you?
On account of the exigent myrmidon, who is Lust, the heart is captive to greed and cupidity and
bane.

4065. On account of that inward myrmidon you have become thievish and depraved, so that the way is (open) for the (external) myrmidons to coerce you.
Hearken to this good counsel in the Traditions (of the Prophet)—“Your worst enemy is between your two sides.”
Do not listen to the pompous talk of this enemy, (but) flee, for she is like Iblís in obstinately wrangling and quarrelling.
For the sake of this world and for contention's sake she has made the everlasting torment (seem)
easy (of small account) to you.
What wonder, if she makes death (seem) easy? By her magic she does a hundred times as much
(as this).

4070. Magic makes a straw a mountain by artifice; (or) again, it weaves a mountain like a straw.
It makes ugly things beautiful by means of sleight; it makes beautiful things ugly by means of
(false) opinion.
The work of magic is this, that it breathes (incantations) and at every breath (moment)
transforms realities.
At one time it shows a man in the guise of an ass, (at another time) it makes an ass (look like) a man and a notable.
Such a magician is within you and latent: truly, there is a concealed magic in temptation (exerted by the fleshly soul);

4075. (But) in the world in which are these magic arts, there are magicians who defeat sorcery.
In the plain where this fresh (virulent) poison grew, there has also grown the antidote, O son. The antidote says to you, “Seek from me a shield, for I am nearer than the poison to you.
Her (the fleshly soul's) words are magic and your ruin; my words are (lawful) magic and the counter-charm to her magic.”

How the fault-finders repeated their advice to the guest of the guest-killing mosque. 
The Prophet said, Verily, there is a magic in eloquence”; and that goodly hero spake the truth.
 4080. “Hey, do not commit a foolhardy act, (but) depart, O generous man, and do not make the mosque and us suspected on this account;
For an enemy will speak form enmity, and to-morrow the villain will rouse a fire (of suspicion)
against us,
Saying, Some wicked man strangled him, (knowing that) on the pretext of the mosque he was safe (from suspicion),
So that he might impute the murder to the mosque and, since the mosque has a bad name,
might escape.’
Do not lay any suspicion upon us, O man of valiant spirit, for we are not secure from the craft of
(our) enemies.

4085. Come now, depart! Do not be foolhardy, do not cherish vain desire, for it is impossible to measure (the planet) Saturn by the ell.
Many like you have prated of (their) luck, (and in the end) they have torn out their beards, one
by one, piecemeal.

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