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(Masnavi Book 3: 89) The Gnat and the Wind in the presence of Solomon







How, in the presence of Solomon, on whom be peace, the gnat appealed for justice against the Wind.

The gnat came from the garden and the grass, and the gnat began to demand justice from
Solomon,

4625.Saying, O Solomon, you dealest out justice to the devils and the children of men and the Jinn.
Bird and fish are under the protection of your justice: who is the lost one whom your bounty has not sought out?
Give justice to us, for we are very miserable: we are deprived of the orchard and the rose-
garden.
The difficulties of every weakling are solved by you: the gnat in sooth is the (proverbial)
similitude for weakness.


We are celebrated for weakness and frailty: you art celebrated for kindness and care of the lowly.

4630.O you who have reached the limit in (traversing) the stages of Power, (while) we have reached the limit in failure and aberration,
Do justice, relieve us from this sorrow, take our hand (to help us), O you whose hand is the
hand of God.”
Then Solomon said, O seeker of equity, tell (me), against whom art you demanding justice and equity?
Who is the oppressor that in (his) insolence has done you injury and scratched your face? Oh, wonderful! Where, in Our epoch, is the oppressor that is not in Our prison and chains?

4635.When We were born, on that day Injustice died: who, then, has produced (committed)
in Our epoch an act of injustice?
When the light dawned, the darkness vanished: darkness is the origin and support of injustice. Look, (some of) the devils are doing work and service; the others are bound in shackles and
bonds.
The origin of the injustice of the oppressors was from the devil: the devil is in bondage: how did violence appear?
(The Divine Will uttered in) Be, and it was has bestowed the kingdom on Us, that the people may not cry out in lament to Heaven;

4640.That burning sighs may not soar upward; that the sky and the stars may not be shaken; That the empyrean may not tremble at the orphan's wail; that no (living) soul may be marred by violence.
We established a law (of justice) throughout the kingdoms (of the earth), to the end that no (cry of)O Lord! should go up to the skies.
O oppressed one, do not look to Heaven, for you have a heavenly king in the temporal world.”
The gnat said, “My appeal is against the hand (might) of the Wind, for he opened the two hands of oppression against us.

4645.Through his oppression we are in sore straits: with closed lips we are drinking blood
(suffering torment) from him.”

How Solomon, on whom be peace, commanded the plaintiff gnat to bring its adversary to the court of judgement.

Then Solomon said, O you with the pretty voice, it behoves you to hearken with (all thy) soul to the command of God.
God has said to me, Beware, O Judge! Do not hear one litigant without the other litigant.
Until both litigants come into the presence, the truth does not come to light before the judge. If the (one) litigant alone raise a hundred clamours, beware, beware! Do not accept his word without (hearing) his adversary.’

4650. I dare not avert my face from the (Divine) command. Go, bring your adversary before me.”
It (the gnat) said, “Thy words are an argument (conclusive) and sound. My adversary is the
Wind, and he is in your jurisdiction.
The King shouted, O East-wind, the gnat complains of your injustice: come!
Hark, come face to face with your adversary and reply to your adversary and rebut your opponent.” When the Wind heard (the summons), he came very rapidly: the gnat at once took to flight.


4655.Then Solomon said,O gnat, where (art you going)? Stop, that I may pass judgement on (you) both.
It (the gnat) answered, O King, my death is from his being: verily, this day of mine is black from his smoke.
Since he has come, where shall I find rest? for he wrings the (vital) breath out of my body.” Even such is the seeker of the Court of God: when God comes, the seeker is naughted.
Although that union (with God) is immortality on immortality, yet at first that immortality (baqá)
consists in dying to self (faná).

4660.The reflexions that are seeking the Light are naughted when His Light appears. How should the reason remain when He bids it go? Everything is perishing except His Face. Before His Face the existent and the non-existent perish: existence in nonexistence is in sooth a marvellous thing!
In this place of presence (all) minds are lost beyond control; when the pen reaches this point, it breaks.

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