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(Masnavi Book 4: 74) Submission to the Saints






Explaining (the Verse), O ye that believe, do not put (yourselves) forward in the presence of God and His Apostle. Since you art not the Prophet, be one of the religious community; since you art not the sovereign, be a subject.

Go therefore, be silent in submission beneath the shade of the command of the Shaykh and
Master;
Otherwise, though you art predisposed and capable, you wilt become deformed through boasting of (your) perfection.

3350. You wilt be deprived even of (thy good) predisposition, if you rebel against the
Master of the mystery who is endowed with knowledge.
Do you still have patience in cobbling; for if you be impatient, you wilt become a rag-stitcher. If the stitchers of old clothes had patience and forbearance, all of them too would become stitchers of new garments through (acquisition of) knowledge.
You strivest much, and at last even you yourself sayest in weariness that the intellect is a fetter,
Like the philosopher (who) on the day of his death perceived his intellect to be very poor and feeble,

3355. And in that hour disinterestedly confessed (the truth), saying, “(Impelled) by acuteness of mind we galloped in vain.
In delusion we drew (scornfully) away from the holy men, we swam in the sea of phantasy.”
In the spiritual Sea swimming is naught (of no avail): here is no resource but the ship (ark) of
Noah.
Thus said that king of the prophets, I am the ship in this universal Sea,
Or that person who, in respect of my (inward) clairvoyances, has become a true vicegerent in my stead.”

3360. We (saints) are the ship (ark) of Noah in the Sea, in order that you mayst not turn your face away from the ship, O youth.
Go not, like Canaan, to every mountain: hear from the Qur’án (the warning), There is naught that will protect (you) to-day.
This ship, because of the bandage (on your vision), seems to you low, (while) the mountain of
(intellectual) thought seems very high.
Beware, beware! Do not regard this “low with contempt: regard the grace of God that is attached (to it).
Do not regard the height of the mountain of thought, for a single wave turns it upside down.

3365. If you art (like) Canaan, you wilt not believe me though I foster (for your sake) two hundred times as many counsels.
How should Canaan's ear accept these words? for God's seal and signet is upon it.
How should admonition pass through God's seal? How should the new (admonition) avert the
(eternal) pre-ordainment?
But I am telling the news of good fortune in the hope that you art not (like) Canaan. You wilt make this confession at last. Hark, from the first day do you behold the last!

3370. You canst see the end: do not make blind and old yours eye that sees the end. Whosoever is blessedly a seer of the end will never stumble in wayfaring.
Unless you desire this incessant lying down and rising up (this stumbling on the way), sharpen yours eye with the dust on the foot of a holy man.
Make the dust of his foot collyrium for yours eye, that you mayst strike off the head of the blackguards;
For through this pupilage and this poverty (of spirit), (though) you be (as) a needle, you wilt become (a trenchant sword like) Dhu ’l-faqár.

3375. Use the dust of every elect one as collyrium: it will both burn the eye and do it good. The eye of the camel is very luminous because he (the camel) eats thorns for the sake of (increasing) the light of his eye.

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