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(Masnavi Book 3: 16) Harut and Marut

The Story of rút and Márút and their boldness in encountering the probation of God most High.

Before this (occasion), we had told a little of it: what, indeed, should we tell? (We can tell only)
one (item) of its thousands.
I wished to speak of the (spiritual) truths (contained) in it, (but) till now they have remained
(untold) on account of hindrances.
(Now) once again a little of its much shall be toldthe description (as it were) of a single limb of the elephant.

800. Listen to (the tale of) Hárút and Márút, O you to whose face we are (devoted) slaves and servants.
They (Hárút and Márút) were intoxicated with the spectacle of God and with the marvels of the
King's gradual temptation (of them).
Such intoxication arises (even) from God's gradual temptation, so that (you may judge) what intoxications are wrought by the ascension to God.
The bait in His snare produced intoxication like this: what things, (then), can the table of His
bounty reveal!
They were drunken and freed from the noose: they were uttering rapturous cries in the fashion of lovers;

805. (But) in their road there was one ambush and trial: its mighty wind would sweep the mountain away like straw.
The (Divine) trial was turning them upside down, (but) how should one that is drunken have consciousness of these things?
To him pit and open field are one, to him dungeon and pit are a pleasant path to tread.
The mountain-goat runs up that high mountain for the sake of (getting) some harmless food. Whilst he browses, suddenly he sees another trick played by the ordinance of Heaven.

810. He casts his gaze upon another mountain: on that other mountain he espies a she-goat. Straightway his eye is darkened: he leaps madly from this mountain to that.
To him it seems as near (and easy) as to run round the sink (in the court) of a house.
Those thousands of ells (are made to) appear to him (as) two ells, in order that from mad infatuation the impulse to leap may come to him.
As soon as he leaps, he falls midway between the two pitiless mountains.

815. He had fled to the mountain (to escape) from the hunters: his very refuge shed his blood.
The hunters are seated between the two mountains in expectation of this awesome decree (of
The capture of this (mountain-)goat is, for the most part, (accomplished) in this manner; else (it would be difficult, for) he is agile and nimble and quick to see the enemy.
Though Rustam have (a huge) head and moustache, lust will certainly be the snare to catch his feet.
Be cut off, like me, from the intoxication of lust: look at the intoxication of lust in the camel!

820. Know, again, that this intoxication of lust in the (terrestrial) world is (to be) deemed of small account beside the intoxication of the angels.
The intoxication of that one (the angel) breaks (reduces to insignificance) the intoxication of this
one (the human being): how should he (the angel) show any propensity to lust?
Until you have drunk sweet water, briny water is sweet, sweet as the light in the eye;

(But) a single drop of the wines of Heaven causes the soul to be rapt away from the wine and cupbearers (of this world)—
So that (you may imagine) what intoxications befall the angels and the spirits purified by the
Divine glory,

825. Who have set their hearts on that wine at one smell (of it), and have broken the jar of this world's wine;
Except, maybe, them that are in despair and far (from God), (outcasts) like infidels hidden
(buried) in graves,
(Them that) have lost all hope of both worlds and have sown thorns without end.
Therefore they (Hárút and Márút), because of their feelings of intoxication, said, Alas, we would rain upon the earth, like clouds;
We would spread in this place of injustice (a carpet of) justice and equity and devotions and faithfulness.”

830. This they said, and the Divine decree was saying (to them), “Stop! Before your feet there is many an unseen pitfall.”
Beware, do not run boldly into the desert of woe! Beware, do not push on blindly into the Karbalá
(of tribulation),
For because of the hair and bones of the perished the travellers' feet find no way.
The whole way is (covered with) bones and hair and sinews: many is the thing that the sword of
Vengeance has made nothing.
God has said that (His) servants (who are) attended by (His) help walk on the earth quietly and meekly.

835. How should a bare-footed man go into the thorn-thicket save with halting and reflection and cautiously?
The Decree was saying this (to them), but their ears were closed in the (muffling) veil of their hotheadedness.
(All) eyes and ears have been closed, except for them that have escaped from themselves.
Who but Grace shall open the eyes? Who but Love shall allay the (Divine) Wrath?
Truly, may no one in the world have toil without (God's) prospering (it)! And God best knoweth the right course.

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