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(Masnavi Book 5: 03) The Prophet and the Greedy Infidel

Concerning the occasion of the coming of the Tradition of Mustafá (Mohammed), the blessings of God be upon him, that the infidel takes his food in seven bowels, while the true believer takes his food in one bowel.

The infidels became the guests of the Prophet: they came to the mosque at eventide,

65. Saying, “We have come here as visitors seeking hospitality, O King, O you who art the entertainer of (all) the inhabitants of the world.
We are destitute and have arrived from afar: hark, shed your grace and light upon us!
He said (to his Companions), O my friends, divide (these guests amongst you), for ye are filled with me and with my nature.”
The bodies of every army are filled with the King; hence they would draw the sword against (his) Majesty's enemies.
It is because of the King's anger you draw the sword; otherwise, what (cause of) anger have you against your brethren?

70. (From) the reflexion of the King's anger you are striking your innocent brother with a mace of ten
manns' weight.
The King is one soul, and the army is filled with him: the spirit is like the water, and these bodies are the river-bed.

If the water of the King's spirit be sweet, all the river-beds are filled with the sweet water;
For only the King's law do his subjects have (a[#] their own): so has the sovereign of Abas declared. Each Companion chose a guest. Amongst them,(the infidels) was one stout and incomparable (in that respect).

75. He had a huge body: no one took him along, he remained in the mosque like the dregs in a cup. As he was left behind by all, Mustafá (Mohammed) took him away. In the (Prophet's) herd there were seven goats that gave milk,
For the goats used to stay in the house for milking in preparation for mealtime.
That famishing giant son of a Ghuzz Turcoman devoured the bread and (other) food and (drank all) the milk of the seven goats.
The whole household became enraged, for they all desired goat's milk.

80. He made his voracious belly like a drum: he consumed singly the portion of eighteen persons. At bed-time he went and sat in his room; then the maid angrily shut the door.
She put in (fastened) the door-chain from the outside, for she was angry with him and resentful. At midnight or dawn, when the infidel felt an urgent need and stomach-ache,
He hastened from his bed towards the door, (but) laying his hand on the door he found it shut.

85. The cunning man employed various devices to open it, but the fastening did not give way. The urgency increased, and the room was narrow: he remained in dismay and without remedy and dumbfounded.
He made shift and crept to sleep: in his slumber he dreamed that he was in a desolate place. Since a desolate place was in his mind, his (inward) sight went thither in sleep.
Cum sese videret in loco vastato et vacuo, tanta necessitate coactus extemplo cacavit.

90. Experrectus vidit stratum lecti in quo dormiverat sordibus plenum: pudore commotus insanire coepit. E corde ejus ascendunt centum gemitus propter tale opprobrium pulvere non coopertum.
Somnus meus,inquit, pejor quam vigilia mea; hic enim edo, illic caco.”
He was crying, “Woe and alas! Woe and alas! even as the unbeliever in the depths of the tomb,
Waiting to see when this night would come to an end, that the noise of the door in opening might rise (to his ear),

95. In order to flee like an arrow from the bow, (for fear) lest any one should see him in such a condition.
The story is long: I will shorten it. The door opened: he was delivered from grief and pain.

How Mustafá (Mohammed) opened the door of the room for his guest and concealed himself in order that he (the guest) might not see the form of the person who opened it and be overcome with shame, but might go forth boldly.

At dawn Mustafá came and opened the door: at dawn he gave the way (means of escape) to him who had lost the way (of salvation).
Mustafá opened the door and became hidden, in order that the afflicted man might not be ashamed, But might come forth and walk boldly away and not see the back or face of the door-opener.

100. Either he became hidden behind something, or the skirt (merciful palliation) of God concealed him from him (the infidel).
The dye of Allah sometimes makes (a thing to be) covered and draws a mysterious veil oer the beholder, So that he does not see the enemy at his side: the power of God is more than that, (yea), more.
Mustafá was seeing all that happened to him in the night, but the command of the Lord restrained him
From opening a way (of escape) before the fault (was committed), so that he (the infidel) should not be cast into a pit (of grief) by the disgrace (which he had incurred).

105. (Otherwise, Mustafá would have let him out in time), but it was the (Divine) wisdom and the command of Heaven that he should see himself thus (disgraced and confounded).

There be many acts of enmity which are (really) friendship, many acts of destruction which are (really)
A meddlesome fellow purposely brought the dirty bed-clothes to the Prophet,
Saying, Look! your guest has done such a thing! He smiled, (he who was sent as) a mercy to all created beings,
And said, Bring the pail here, that I may wash all (clean) with my own hand.”

110. Every one jumped up, saying, For God's sake (refrain)! Our souls and our bodies are a sacrifice to you.
We will wash this filth: do you leave it alone. This kind (of affair) is hand's work, not heart's work.
O La-‘amruk, God pronounced unto you (the word) life’; then He made you (His) Vicegerent and seated you on the throne.
We live for your service: as you (yourself) art performing the service, what then are we?
He said, I know that, but this is an (extraordinary) occasion; I have a deep reason for washing this myself.”

115. They waited, saying, “This is the Prophet's word, till it should appear what these mysteries were. (Meanwhile) he was busily washing those filYour things, by God's command exclusively, not from blind conformity and ostentation;
For his heart was telling him, Do you wash them, for herein is wisdom manifold.”

The cause of the guest's return to the house of Mustafá, on whom be peace, at the hour when Mustafá was washing his befouled bed-rug with his own hand; and how he was overcome with shame and rent his garment and made lamentation for himself and for his plight.

The wretched infidel had an amulet (which he carried) as a keepsake. He observed that it was lost, and became distracted.
He said, The room in which I lodged during the night—I (must have) left the amulet there unawares.”

120. Though he was ashamed, greed took away his shame: greed is a dragon, it is no small thing. In quest of the amulet he ran hastily into the house of Mustafá and saw him,
That Hand of God, cheerfully washing the filth by himself far from him be the evil eye! The amulet vanished from his mind, and a great rapture arose in him: he tore his collar, Smiting his face and head with both hands, beating his pate against wall and door,

125. In such a wise that blood poured from his nose and head, and the Prince (Mohammed) took pity on him.
He uttered shrieks, the people gathered round him: the infidel was crying, O people, beware!”
He smote his head, saying, O head without understanding! He smote his breast, saying, O bosom without light!
Prostrating himself, he cried, O (you who art) the whole earth, this despicable part is abashed on account of you.
Thou, who art the whole, art submissive to His command; I, who am (but) a part, am unjust and wicked and misguided.

130. you, who art the whole, art humble and trembling in fear of God; I, who am (but) a part, am
(engaged) in opposition and in rivalry.”
At every moment he was turning his face to heaven, saying, I have not the face (to look towards you), O
qibla of the world!”
When he had trembled and quivered beyond (all) bounds, Mustafá clasped him in his arms,
Quieted him and caressed him much and opened his (inward) eye and gave him (spiritual) knowledge.
Till the cloud weeps, how should the garden smile? Till the babe cries, how should the milk begin to flow?

135. The one-day-old babe knows the way: (its instinct says), I will cry, that the kind nurse may come.” Do not you know that the Nurse of (all) nurses gives no milk gratis without (your) crying?

He (God) has said, Let them weep much.Give ear, that the bounty of the Creator may pour forth the milk.
The cloud's weeping and the sun's burning are the pillar of this world: twist these two strands (together).
If there were not the sun's heat and the cloud's tears, how would body (substance) and accident become big and thick?

140. How would these four seasons be flourishing unless this glow and weeping were the origin?
Since the burning (heat) of the sun and the weeping of the clouds in the world are keeping the world fresh and sweet,
Keep the sun of your intelligence burning, keep your eye glistening with tears like the cloud!
You must needs have a weeping eye, like the little child: do not eat the bread (of worldliness), for that bread takes away your water (spiritual excellence).
When the body is in leaf (well-furnished), on that account by day and night the bough, (which is) the soul, is shedding its leaves and is in autumn.

145. The leafage (flourishing state) of the body is the leaflessness (unprovidedness) of the soul. Be quick! You must let this (body) dwindle and that (soul) increase.
Lend unto God, give a loan of this leafage of the body, that in exchange a garden may grow in your heart. Give a loan, diminish this food of your body, that there may appear the face (vision) of (that which) eye has not seen.
When the body empties itself of dung, He (God) fills it with musk and glorious pearls.
He (such a person) gives this filth and gets purity (in return): his body enjoys (what is signified by the words) He will purify you.

150. The Devil frightens you, saying, Hark and hark again! You will be sorry for this and will be saddened.
If you waste away your body in consequence of these idle whims, you will become very sorry and anxious. Eat this, it is hot and good for your health; and drink that for your benefit and as a cure,
With the intention (of acting on the principle) that (since) this body is your riding-beast that to which it is accustomed is best for it.
Beware, do not alter your habit, else mischief will ensure and a hundred maladies will be produced in brain and heart.

155. Such menaces does the vile Devil employ, and he chants a hundred spells over the people. He makes himself out to be a Galen (for skill) in medicine, that he may deceive your ailing soul.
This, says he, is of use to you against any sorrow and pain. He said the same thing to Adam about an ear of wheat.
He utters (hypocritical expressions such as) Ah, ah and Alas, while he twists your lips with the farrier's barnacle,
As (the farrier twists) the lips of a horse when shoeing it, in order that he (the Devil) may cause an inferior
(worthless) stone to appear as a ruby.

160. He takes hold of your ears as (though they were) the ears of a horse, pulling you towards greed and acquisition (of worldly goods).
He claps on your foot a shoe of perplexity, by the pain of which you are left incapable of (advancing on)
the Way.
His shoe is that hesitation between the two works (of this world and of the world hereafter)—Shall I do these or shall I do those? Take heed!
Do that which is chosen by the Prophet, don't do that which (only) a madman or (foolish) boy ever did. “Paradise is encompassedby what is it encompassed? By things disliked, from which there comes increase of the seed sown (for the future life).

165. He (the Devil) has a hundred spells of cunning and deceit, which would entrap (any one), even if he is (strong and wily as) a great serpent.
He (the Devil) will bind him, though he be (swift and elusive as) running water; he will make a mock of him, though he be the most learned man of the time.

(Therefore) associate your intelligence with the intelligence of a friend: recite (the text) their affairs are
(carried on by) taking counsel with each other, and practise it.

How Mustafá, on whom be peace, treated the Arab guest with loving kindness and calmed his distress and stilled the sobbing and lamentation for himself which he was making in his shame and penitence and fire of despair.

This topic has no end. The Arab was astounded by the kindnesses of that (spiritual) King.
He was wellnigh becoming crazed, his reason fled (from him), but the hand (power) of Mustafá's reason drew him back.

170. He (Mustafá) said, Come hither. He came in such fashion as one rises up from heavy slumber. Come hither, said he, do not (lose your wits); hark, come to yourself, for there are (great) things to be done with you here.
He threw water on his face, and he (the infidel) began to speak, saying, O witness of God, recite the
Testimony (profession of the Faith),
That I may bear witness (to its truth) and go forth (from unbelief): I am weary of this (unreal) existence and will go into the wilderness (of reality).”
In this court of the Judge who pronounces the Decree we are (present) for the purpose of (making good) our
claim (to fulfil the covenant signified by the words) Am not I (your Lord)?and Yea”;

175. For we said, Yea, and (since we are) on trial our acts and words are the (necessary) witnesses and evidence of that (assent).
Wherefore do we keep silence in the court of the Judge? Have not we come (here) to bear testimony? How long, O witness, wilt you remain under detention in the court of the Judge? Give your testimony betimes.
You have been summoned hither that you mayst give the testimony and show no disobedience; (But) in your obstinacy you have sat down and closed (both) hand and mouth in this confinement.

180. Until you give that testimony, O witness, how wilt you escape from this court?
It is the affair of a moment. Perform (Your duty) and run away: do not make a short matter long (tedious and irksome) to yourself.
As you wilt, whether during a hundred years or in a moment, discharge this trust and acquit yourself (of it).

Explaining that (ritual) prayer and fasting and all (such) external things are witnesses to the inner light.

This (ritual) prayer and fasting and pilgrimage and holy war are the attestation of the (inward) belief.
The giving of alms and presents and the abandonment of envy are the attestation of one's secret thoughts.

185. Dishes of food and hospitality are for the purpose of declaring that we, O noble (guests), have become in true accord with you.
Gifts and presents and offerings bear witness (saying implicitly), I am pleased with you.
(If) any one exerts himself in (giving) money or in conjuration, what is (the meaning of) it? (He means to say), I have a jewel within.
I have a jewel, namely, abstinence or generosity: this alms-giving and fasting are witnesses in regard to both (these qualities).
Fasting says (implicitly), He has abstained from what is lawful: know (therefore) that he has no connexion with what is unlawful”;

190. And his alms-giving said (implicitly), He gives of his own property: how, then, should he steal from the religious?”
If he act as a cutpurse (from self-interest), then the two witnesses are invalidated in the court of Divine justice.
He is a fowler if he scatter grain not from mercy and munificence but in order to catch (the birds).
He is a cat keeping the fast and feigning to be asleep at fast-time for the purpose of (seizing) his ignorant prey.

By this unrighteousness he makes a hundred parties (of people) suspicious, he causes the generous and abstinent to be in ill repute.

195. (But) notwithstanding that he weaves crookedly, in the end the grace of God will purge him of all this (hypocrisy).
His (God's) mercy takes precedence (over His wrath) and bestows on that treachery (hypocrisy) a light that the full-moon does not possess.
God cleanses his effort of this contamination: the (Divine) Mercy washes him clean of this folly.
In order that His great forgivingness may be made manifest, a helmet (of forgiveness) will cover his (the hypocrite's) baldness.
The water rained from heaven, that it might cleanse the impure of their defilement.

How the water cleanses all impurities and then is cleansed of impurity by God most High. Verily, God most High is exceeding holy.

200. When the water had done battle (in its task of ablution) and had been made dirty and had become such that the senses rejected it,
God brought it back into the sea of Goodness, that the Origin of the water might generously wash it (clean). Next year it came sweeping proudly along. Hey, where have you been? In the sea of the pure.
I went from here dirty; I have come (back) clean. I have received a robe of honour, I have come to the earth
Hark, come unto me, O ye polluted ones, for my nature has partaken of the nature of God.

205. I will accept all your foulness: I will bestow on the demon purity like (that of) the angel. When I become defiled, I will return thither: I will go to the Source of the source of purities. There I will pull the filYour cloak off my head: He will give me a clean robe once more.
Such is His work, and my work is the same: the Lord of all created beings is the beautifier of the world.” Were it not for these impurities of ours, how would the water have this glory?

210. It stole purses of gold from a certain One: (then) it runs in every direction, crying, Where is an insolvent?”
Either it sheds (the treasure) on a blade of grass that has grown, or it washes the face of one whose face is unwashed,
Or, porter-like, it takes on its head (surface) the ship that is without hand or foot (helplessly tossing) in the seas.
Hidden in it are myriads of salves, because every salve derives from it its nature and property.
The soul of every pearl, the heart of every grain, goes into the river (for healing) as (into) a shop of salves.

215.  From it (comes) nourishment to the orphans of the earth; from it (comes) movement (growth) to them that are tied fast, the parched ones.
When its stock (of spiritual grace) is exhausted, it becomes turbid: it becomes abject on the earth, as we are.

How the water, after becoming turbid, entreats God Almighty to succour it.

(Then) from its interior it raises cries of lamentation, saying, O God, that which you gavest (me) I have given (to others) and am left a beggar.
I poured the (whole) capital over pure and impure (alike): O King who givest the capital, is there any more?”
He (God) saith to the cloud, Bear it (the water) to the delectable place; and you too, O sun, draw it up aloft.”

220. He maketh it to go diverse ways, that He may bring it unto the boundless sea.
Verily, what is meant by this water is the spirit of the saints, which washes away your dark stains.
When it is stained dark by (washing) the treason of the inhabitants of the earth, it returns to Him who endows Heaven with purity.

From yonder, trailing the skirt (of glory), it brings back to them lessons concerning the purities of the All- encompassing (God).
Through mingling with the people (of the world) it falls sick and desires (to make) that journey, saying, Revive us, O Bilál!

225. O melodious sweet-voiced Bilál, go up into the minaret, beat the drum of departure.
Whilst the body is standing (in the ritual prayer), the spirit is gone on its journey: hence at the moment of
return it says, Salám!
(On its return to the world) it liberates all from performing the ablution with sand, and seekers of the qibla
from endeavouring to ascertain the proper direction.
This parable is like an intermediary in the discourse: an intermediary is required for the apprehension of the vulgar.
Without an intermediary, how should any one go into the fire, except (one like) the salamander?for he is independent of the connecting link.

230. You need the hot bath as an intermediary, so that you may refresh your constitution by (the heat of)
the fire.
Since you cannot go into the fire, like Khalíl (Abraham), the hot bath has become your Apostle, and the water your guide.
Satiety is from God, but how should the unclean attain unto satiety without the mediation of bread? Beauty is from God, but the corporealist does not feel (the charm of) beauty without the veil (medium) of the garden.
When the bodily medium is removed, (then) he (who is disembodied) perceives without (any) screen, like
Moses, the light of the Moon (shining) from (his own) bosom.

235. These virtues possessed by the water bear witness likewise that its interior is filled with the grace of

The testimony of external acts and words to the hidden mind and the inner light.

Act and word are witnesses to the hidden mind: from these twain infer the inward state. When your thought does not penetrate within, inspect the patient's urine from without.
Act and word are (as) the urine of the sick, which is clear evidence for the physician of the body. But the spiritual physician enters into his (patient's) soul and by the spiritual way penetrates into his (inmost) belief.

240. He has no need of fine acts and words: “beware of them (the spiritual physicians), they are spies on (men's) hearts.”
Demand this testimony of acts and words from him (only) who is not united with the Sea like a river.

Explaining that the light itself from within the illumined person bears witness to his light, without any act or word declaring it.

But the (inner) light of the traveller (mystic) who has passed beyond the pale (of selfhood)—the deserts and plains are filled with his radiance.
(The fact of) his being a witness (to God) is independent of witnesses and works of supererogation and of self-devotion and self-sacrifice.
Since the light of that (spiritual) substance has shone forth, he has gained independence of these hypocrisies.

245. Therefore do not demand of him the testimony of act and speech, for through him both the worlds have blossomed like a rose.
What is this testimony? The making manifest of that which is hidden, whether (by) word or act or
something else;
For its object is to make manifest the inward nature of the spiritual substance: the attributes (of that substance) are permanent, though these accidents (such as acts and words) are fleeting.

The mark of the gold on the touchstone does not remain, (but) the gold (itself) remains—of good renown and undoubted.
Similarly, (all) this ritual prayer and holy war and fasting does not remain, but the spirit remains in good renown (for ever).

250. The spirit produced certain acts and words of this kind (as proofs): it rubbed its substance on the touchstone of the (Divine) command,
As though to say, My belief is perfect: here is the witness! (Yes), but there is doubt as regards the witnesses.
Know that the probity of the witnesses must be established: the means of establishing it is a (great)
sincerity: you art dependent on that.
In the case of the word-witness, it is keeping your word (that is the test); in the case of the act-witness, it is keeping your covenant (to perform these acts).
The word-witness is rejected if it speaks falsely, and the act-witness is rejected if it does not run straight.

255. you must have words and acts that are not self-contradictory, in order that you mayst meet with immediate acceptance.
Your efforts are diverse, ye are in contradiction: ye are sewing by day and tearing up (what ye have sewn)
by night.
Who, then, will hearken to testimony that contradicts itself, unless indeed He (the Judge) graciously show a
(great) forbearance?
Act and word are (for) the manifestation of the inward thought and hidden mind: both are divulging the veiled secret.
When your witness has been proved honest, it is accepted; otherwise, it is kept in detention as a prisoner.

260. O recalcitrant one, so long as you contendest (with the holy saints) they will contend (with you).
Lie in wait for them, then! Verily, they are lying in wait (for you).

How Mustafá, on whom be peace, offered the Testimony (profession of the Faith) to his guest.

This discourse has no end. Mustafá offered the Faith, and the youth accepted
That Testimony which has ever been blessed and has ever loosed the fastbound chains. He became a true believer. Mustafá said to him, Be my guest to-night also.”
By God, said he, I am your guest unto everlasting. Wheresoever I be, to whatsoever place I go,

265. I am made living by you and liberated by you, and am your doorkeeper (eating) at your table in this world and in the next.
Whosoever chooses any but this choice table, in the end his gullet will be torn by the bone (of perdition). Whosoever goes to the table of any but you, know that the Devil shares his cup.
Whosoever departs from your neighbourhood, without any doubt the Devil will become his neighbour; And if without you he go on a far journey, the wicked Devil is his fellowtraveller and table-companion;

270. And if he mount a noble horse, (since) he is envious of the Moon, the Devil sits behind him; And if his Shahnáz be got with child by him, the Devil is his partner in begetting it.”
O you that glowest (with faith), God has said in the Qur’án, “Share with them in their wealth and children.”
The Prophet, (who drew inspiration) from the Unseen, explained this (matter) clearly in his marvellous discourses with ‘Alí.
O Prophet of Allah, you have displayed (the truth of) your prophetic mission completely, like the cloudless sun.

275. Two hundred mothers never did (to their children) this which you have done (to me); Jesus by his
(life-giving) spells never did (so much as this) to Ázar (Lazarus).
Lo, through you, my soul has been delivered from death: if ‘Ázar was revived by that breath (of Jesus), yet he died again.”

The Arab became the Prophet's guest that night: he drank half the milk of a single goat and (then) closed his lips.
He (the Prophet) urged him to drink the milk and eat the scones. By God, said he, in all sincerity I have eaten my fill.
This is not hypocrisy or affectation and artifice: I have become fuller than I was yesternight.

280. All the people of the (Prophet's) house were left in astonishment (to think that) this lamp had been filled by this one drop of oil,
And that what is (only) a swift's (portion of) food should become the (means of) filling the belly of such an elephant.
Whispering arose amongst the men and women“That man who has the body of an elephant eats as little as a fly!”
The greed and vanity of unbelief was overthrown: the dragon was satisfied with the food of an ant.
The beggar-like greediness of unbelief departed from him: the sweet food of the Faith made him stout and strong.

285. He who was quivering from ravenous hunger beheld, like Mary, the fruit of Paradise. The fruit of Paradise sped to his body: his Hell-like belly gained repose.
The essence of the Faith is a mighty blessing and exceedingly delicious food, O you who art content with
naught of the Faith but the profession!

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