بخش 23

کتاب: ملت عشق / فصل 23

بخش 23

توضیح مختصر

  • زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

این فصل را می‌توانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید

دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

فایل صوتی

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Shams

KONYA, OCTOBER 17, 1244

Before passing through the gates of a town I’ve never visited, I take a minute to salute its saints—the dead and the living, the known and the hidden. Never in my life have I arrived at a new place without getting the blessing of its saints first. It makes no difference to me whether that place belongs to Muslims, Christians, or Jews. I believe that the saints are beyond such trivial nominal distinctions. A saint belongs to all humanity.

So when I saw Konya for the first time from a distance, I did what I always did. But something unusual happened next. Instead of greeting me back and offering their blessings, as they always did, the saints remained as silent as broken tombstones. I saluted them again, more loudly and assertively this time, in case they had not heard me. But once again there followed silence. I realized that the saints had heard me, all right. They just weren’t giving me their blessing.

“Tell me what’s wrong?” I asked the wind so that it would carry my words to the saints far and wide.

In a little while, the wind returned with an answer. “O dervish, in this city you’ll find only two extremes, and nothing in between. Either pure love or pure hatred. We are warning you. Enter at your own risk.” “In that case there is no need to worry,” I said. “As long as I can encounter pure love, that’ll be enough for me.”

Upon hearing that, the saints of Konya gave me their blessing. But I didn’t want to enter the city just yet. I sat down under an oak tree, and as my horse munched on the sparse grass around, I looked at the city looming in the distance. The minarets of Konya glistened in the sun like shards of glass. Every now and then, I heard dogs barking, donkeys braying, children laughing, and vendors yelling at the top of their lungs—ordinary sounds of a city throbbing with life. What kinds of joys and sorrows, I wondered, were being lived at this moment behind closed doors and latticed windows? Being used to an itinerant life, I found it slightly unnerving to have to settle in a city, but I recalled another fundamental rule: Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?

A friendly voice yanked me out of my reverie. “Selamun aleykum, dervish!”

When I turned around, I saw an olive-skinned, brawny peasant with a drooping mustache. He was riding a cart pulled by an ox so skinny that the poor thing looked as if it could at any moment breathe its last.

“Aleykum selam, may God bless you!” I called out.

“Why are you sitting here on your own? If you are tired of riding that horse of yours, I could give you a lift.”

I smiled. “Thanks, but I think I could go faster on foot than with your ox.”

“Don’t sell my ox short,” the peasant said, sounding offended. “He might be old and frail, but he’s still my best friend.”

Put in my place by these words, I jumped to my feet and bowed before the peasant. How could I, a minor element in God’s vast circle of creation, belittle another element in the circle, be it an animal or a human being?

“I apologize to you and your ox,” I said. “Please forgive me.”

A shadow of disbelief crossed the peasant’s face. He stood deadpan for a moment, weighing whether I was mocking him or not. “Nobody ever does that,” he said when he spoke again, flashing me a warm smile.

“You mean apologize to your ox?”

“Well, that, too. But I was thinking nobody ever apologizes to me. It’s usually the other way round. I am the one who says sorry all the time. Even when people do me wrong, I apologize to them.” I was touched to hear that. “The Qur’an tells us each and every one of us was made in the best of molds. It’s one of the rules,” I said softly.

“What rule?” he asked.

“God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexorably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is a fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.” “Are you here for the sermon, too?” the peasant asked with a renewed interest. “It looks like it’s going to be very crowded. He is a remarkable man.”

My heart skipped a beat as I realized whom he was talking about. “Tell me, what is so special about Rumi’s sermons?”

The peasant fell quiet and squinted into the vast horizon for a while. His mind seemed to be everywhere and nowhere.

Then he said, “I come from a village that has had its share of hardships. First the famine, then the Mongols. They burned and plundered every village in their way. But what they did in the big cities was even worse. They captured Erzurum, Sivas, and Kayseri and massacred the entire male population, taking the women with them. I myself have not lost a loved one or my house. But I did lose something. I lost my joy.” “What’s that got to do with Rumi?” I asked.

Dropping his gaze back to his ox, the peasant murmured tonelessly, “Everyone says if you listen to Rumi preach, your sadness will be cured.”

Personally, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with sadness. Just the opposite—hypocrisy made people happy, and truth made them sad. But I didn’t tell this to the peasant. Instead I said, “Why don’t I join you until Konya, and you’ll tell me more about Rumi?” I tied my horse’s reins to the cart and climbed in to sit beside the peasant, glad to see that the ox didn’t mind the additional load. One way or the other, it walked the same excruciatingly slow walk. The peasant offered me bread and goat cheese. We ate as we talked. In this state, while the sun blazed in an indigo sky, and under the watchful eyes of the town’s saints, I entered Konya.

“Take good care, my friend,” I said as I jumped off the cart and loosened the reins of my horse.

“Make sure you come to the sermon!” the peasant yelled expectantly.

I nodded as I waved good-bye. “Inshallah.”

Although I was eager to listen to the sermon and dying to meet Rumi, I wanted to spend some time in the city first and learn what the townspeople thought about the great preacher. I wanted to see him through foreign eyes, kind and unkind, loving and unloving, before I looked on him with my own.

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