The Angry Ascetic

Discussion in 'Stories and Anecdotes' started by Unbeknown, Mar 9, 2014.

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  1. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    the height of ikhlas

    Next year he (abu yazid al-bestami, rahimahullah) returned once more, donning the pilgrim garb separately at the beginning of the desert. In one town he passed through on the way a great throng became his followers, and as he left a crowd went in his wake.

    “Who are those men?” he demanded, looking back. “They wish to keep you company,” came the answer. “Lord God!” Abu Yazid cried, “I beg of Thee, veil not Thy creatures from Thee through me!”

    Then, desiring to expel the love of him from their hearts and to remove the obstacle of himself from their path, having performed the dawn prayer he looked at them and said some words (which no one but one from whom the pen of shariah has been lifted would dare to say).

    “The man has become mad!” they cried. And they left him and departed.


    may Allah forgive us for their sakes.

  2. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    i retell a long story narrated by imam ghazali from the jewish tradition (iHya, the chapter on ikhlaS; part4-book7)

    about an ascetic who had reached high ranks in worship and plenteous deeds. he was told that there was a tree nearby, which people had taken to worship.

    he was angered that people worship a tree and not the Creator. so he picked up an axe and was marching in fury, when the devil encountered him disguised as an old man. 'where are you going?' he asked.

    the ascetic replied, 'to cut down the tree, people have taken to worship'.

    the devil says: 'why do you indulge in such frivolous things interrupting your pious deeds and worship?'.

    the ascetic replied: 'this is a form of worship'.

    the devil said,'i won't let you cut down the tree'. and they began fighting until the ascetic threw down the devil and sat on his chest.

    the devil said, 'look, Allah has not ordered you to do this. there are the prophets of Allah on earth and if this had to be done, Allah would command them do it'.

    the ascetic was adamant and said: 'no way. this tree shall be cut down'.

    and they began fighting once again. the ascetic overpowered the devil - iblees - once more.

    the devil said: 'will you let me go and i will tell you something which is more beneficial to you?'.

    the ascetic let him go. the devil said: 'you are a poor man and you wish you had something so that you could feed and fulfil the needs of your bretheren, isn't it?'.

    the ascetic said, 'yes'.

    the devil said: 'then go back. you will find two gold coins under your pillow everyday, from which you can fulfil the wants of yourself, your family and other muslims. this is of more benefit than cutting down this tree, which will neither hurt those who revere it nor benefit your fellow-muslims'. the man thought about it for a while, and agreed.

    he went back and found two gold coins in the morning. again, the following day there were two more coins. but on the third day, he didn't find any. he was furious and marched towards the tree with his axe.

    the devil met him, 'where to, my good man?'.

    'i will chop down the tree', came the answer.

    the devil laughed, 'it is impossible, you liar. you cannot do it.'

    he tried to fight the devil, but this time he was easily overpowered. 'will you desist or shall i cut off your head?', asked the devil.

    the ascetic realized he was powerless, and he meekly asked the devil how he could overpower him earlier but now, overpowered instead. the devil said: 'the first time, your intention was pure and you were angry only for the [reward in the] hereafter; Allah aided you to subdue me. but now, you are angry for other reasons and worldly motives so i could throw you down'.

    thus does iblees deceive. the wise men say: 'he deceived your father [adam], in heaven, and are you deluded that you are safe from him on this earth?' we seek Allah's refuge from shayTan's subterfuge.
    Nabeela, Aqdas and Shahzaib like this.

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