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(Masnavi Book 1: 22) Commentary on a saying of Sanai, and a Discourse on a Tradition of the Prophet concerning the jealousy of God

Commentary on the saying of the Hakím (Saná’í): “Any thing that causes thee to be left behind on the Way, what matter whether it be infidelity or faith? Any form that causes thee to fall far from the Beloved, what matter whether it be ugly or beautiful?”—and (a discourse) on the meaning of the words of the Prophet, on whom be peace: “Verily, Sa‘d is jealous, and I am more jealous than Sa‘d, and Allah is more jealous than I; and because of His jealousy He hath forbidden foul actions both outward and inward.

The whole world became jealous because God is superior to all the world in jealousy.
He is like the spirit, and the world is like the body: the body receives from the spirit (both) good and evil.

1765. Any one whose prayer-niche is turned to the (mystical) revelation, do thou regard his going (back) to (the traditional) faith as shameful.
Any one who has become Master of the robes to the King, it is loss for him to traffic on the King's behalf.
Any one who becomes the intimate friend of the Sultan, it is an injury and swindle (for him) to wait at his door.
When (the privilege of) kissing the (King's) hand has been bestowed on him by the King, it is a sin if he prefers to kiss the (King's) foot.
Although to lay the head on the (King's) foot is an act of obeisance, (yet) compared with the former act of obeisance it is a fault and backsliding.

1770. The King is jealous of any one who, after having seen the face, prefers the (mere) scent.
To speak in parables, God's jealousy is the wheat, (while) men's jealousy is the straw in the stack.
Know that the root of (all) jealousies is in God: those of mankind are an offshoot from God, without resemblance (being implied).
I will leave the explanation of this and will begin to complain of the cruelty of that fickle Beauty.
I wail because wailings are pleasant to Him: He wants from the two worlds wailing and grief.

1775. How should I not wail bitterly on account of His deceit, since I am not in the circle of those intoxicated with Him?
How should I not mourn, like night, without His day and without the favour of His day-illuming countenance?
His unsweetness is sweet in my soul: may my soul be sacrificed to the Beloved who grieves my heart!
I am in love with my grief and pain for the sake of pleasing my peerless King.
I make the dust of sorrow a salve for mine eye, that the two seas of mine eyes may be filled with pearls.

1780. The tears which people shed for His sake are pearls—and people think they are tears.
I am complaining of the Soul of the soul, (but in truth) I am not complaining: I am (only) relating.
My heart is saying, “I am tormented by Him,” and I have (long) been laughing at its poor pretence.
Do (me) right, O glory of the righteous, O Thou who art the dais, and I the threshold of Thy door!
Where are threshold and dais in reality? In the quarter where our Beloved is, where are “we” and “I”?

1785. O Thou whose soul is free from “we” and “I,” O Thou who art the subtle essence of the spirit in man and woman,
When man and woman become one, Thou art that One; when the units are wiped out, lo, Thou art that (Unity).
Thou didst contrive this “I” and “we” in order that Thou mightst play the game of worship with Thyself,
That all “I's” and “thou's” should become one soul and at last should be submerged in the Beloved.
All this is (true), and do Thou come, O (Lord of the) Creative Word, O Thou who transcendest “Come” and (all) speech!

1790. The body can see Thee (only) in bodily fashion: it fancies (pictures to itself) Thy sadness or laughter.
Do not say that the heart that is bound (conditioned) by (such bodily attributes as) sadness and laughter is worthy of seeing Thee (as Thou really art).
He who is bound by sadness and laughter is living by means of these two borrowed (transient and unreal) things.
In the verdant garden of Love, which is without end, there are many fruits besides sorrow and joy.
Love is higher than these two states of feeling: without spring and without autumn it is (ever) green and fresh.

1795. Pay the tithe on Thy fair face, O Beauteous One: relate the story of the soul that is rent in pieces,
For by the coquetry of a glance One who is given to glancing amorously has branded my heart anew.
I absolved Him if He shed my blood: I was saying, “It is lawful (I absolve Thee),” and He was fleeing (from me).
Since Thou art fleeing from the lament of those who are (as) dust, why pourest Thou sorrow on the hearts of the sorrowful?
O Thou, whom every dawn that shone from the East found overflowing (with abundant grace) like the bright fountain (of the

1800. How didst Thou give (nothing but) evasion to Thy frenzied lover, O Thou the sugar of whose lips hath no price?
O Thou who art a new soul to the old world, hear the cry (that comes) from my body (which is) without soul and heart.
Leave the tale of the Rose! For God's sake set forth the tale of the Nightingale that is parted from the Rose!
Our emotion is not caused by grief and joy, our consciousness is not related to fancy and imagination.
There is another state (of consciousness), which is rare: do not thou disbelieve, for God is very mighty.

1805. Do not judge from the (normal) state of man, do not abide in wrong-doing and in well-doing.
Wrong-doing and well-doing, grief and joy, are things that come into existence; those who come into existence die; God is their heir.
’Tis dawn. O Thou who art the support and refuge of the dawn, ask pardon (for me) of my Lord Husámu’ddín!
Thou art He who asketh pardon of the Universal Mind and Soul, Thou art the Soul of the soul and the Splendour of the coral.
The light of dawn has shone forth, and from Thy light we are engaged in drinking the morning-drink with the wine of Thy Mansúr.

1810. Inasmuch as Thy gift keeps me thus (enravished), who (what) is (other) wine that it should bring me rapture?
Wine in ferment is a beggar suing for our ferment; Heaven in revolution is a beggar suing for our consciousness.
Wine became intoxicated with us, not we with it; the body came into being from us, not we from it.
We are as bees, and bodies are as wax (honeycomb): we have made the body, cell by cell, like wax.
This (discourse) is very long. Tell the story of the merchant, that we may see what happened to that good man.
Reverting to the tale of the merchant who went to trade (in India).

1815. The merchant in fire (burning grief) and anguish and yearning was uttering a hundred distracted phrases like this,
Now self-contradiction, now disdain, now supplication, now passion for reality, now metaphor (unreality).
The drowning man suffers an agony of soul and clutches at every straw.
For fear of (losing) his head (life), he flings about (both) hand and foot to see whether any one will take his hand (help him) in peril.
The Friend loves this agitation: it is better to struggle vainly than to lie still.

1820. He who is the King (of all) is not idle, (though) complaint from Him would be a marvel, for He is not ill.
For this reason said the Merciful (God), O son, “Every day He is (busy) in an affair,” O son.
In this Way be thou ever scraping and scratching (exerting thyself to the utmost): until thy last breath do not be unoccupied for a moment,
So that thy last breath may be a last breath in which the (Divine) favour is thy bosomfriend.
Whatsoever the soul which is in man and woman strives to do, the ear and eye of the soul's King are at the window.
How the merchant cast the parrot out of the cage and how the dead parrot flew away.

1825. After that, he cast her out of the cage. The little parrot flew to a lofty bough.
The dead parrot made such a (swift) flight as when the orient sun rushed onward.
The merchant was amazed at the action of the bird: without understanding he suddenly beheld the mysteries of the bird.
He lifted up his face and said, “O nightingale, give us profit (instruction) by explaining thy case.
What did she (the parrot) do there (in India), that thou didst learn, devise a trick, and burn us (with grief)”?

1830. The parrot said, “She by her act counselled me—‘Abandon thy charm of voice and thy affection (for thy master),
Because thy voice has brought thee into bondage’: she feigned herself dead for the sake of (giving me) this counsel,
Meaning (to say), ‘O thou who hast become a singer to high and low, become dead like me, that thou mayst gain release.’”
If you are a grain, the little birds will peck you up; if you are a bud, the children will pluck you off.
Hide the grain (bait), become wholly a snare; hide the bud, become the grass on the roof.

1835. Any one who offers his beauty to auction, a hundred evil fates set out towards him (and overtake him).
Plots and angers and envies pour upon his head, like water from waterskins.
Foes tear him to pieces from jealousy; even friends take his lifetime away.
He that was heedless of the sowing and the springtide, how should he know the value of this lifetime?
You must flee to the shelter of God's grace, who shed thousand fold grace upon (our) spirits,

1840. That you may find a shelter. Then how (will you lack) shelter? Water and fire will become your army.
Did not the sea become a friend to Noah and Moses? Did it not become overbearing in vengeance against their enemies?
Was not the fire a fortress for Abraham, so that it raised smoke (sighs of despair) from the heart of Nimrod?
Did not the mountain call Yahyá (John the Baptist) to itself and drive off his pursuers with blows of stone?
“O Yahyá,” it said, “come, take refuge in me, that I may be thy shelter from the sharp sword.”
How the parrot bade farewell to the merchant and flew away.

1845. The parrot gave him one or two counsels full of (spiritual) savour and after that bade him the farewell of parting.
The merchant said to her, “Go, God protect thee! Just now thou hast shown to me a new Way.”
Said the merchant to himself, “This is the counsel for me; I will take her Way, for this Way is shining with light.
How should my soul be meaner than the parrot? The soul ought to follow a good track like this.”

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